Atlanta

Attorney for Todd, Julie Chrisley’s accountant asks to have his sentenced reduced

ATLANTA — The attorney for Todd and Julie Chrisley’s accountant, who was also part of their scheme to defraud the government, is asking for his client’s sentence to be reduced.

Peter Tarantino, 61, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully filing false tax returns. He is being held in a minimum-security federal prison camp in Montgomery, Alabama, with a release date in September of next year.

The case is currently moving through the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals as the Chrisleys and Tarantino try to get their convictions thrown out.

Don Samuel, a lawyer for Tarantino, has argued that his client was harmed by being tried with the Chrisleys and he urged the court to reverse Tarantino’s conviction and return his case to the lower court for a new trial.

The Chrisleys are appealing, alleging federal prosecutors made serious errors during the trial.

Their attorney argued prosecutors knowingly allowed an IRS officer to give false testimony.

“We’re asking the District Court to get the case back to be able to resolve those questions,” attorney Alex Little said.

Prosecutors said when the officer testified, neither side had evidence the Chrisleys paid some of their delinquent taxes.

Tarantino’s attorney filed a motion Wednesday asking the 11th Circuit to temporarily return the case to District Court, and ask that court to reduce his sentence based on “zero-point offender guidelines.”

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“The amended sentence range would be 33-41 months. This empowers the court to reduce Mr. Tarantino’s sentence to 33 months, the low end of the amended guideline range,” the court document said.

The couple, mostly known for their reality TV series “Chrisley Knows Best,” and Tarantino, were found guilty in 2022 of conspiring to defraud banks and the IRS out of millions of dollars and are serving a combined 15 years in prison. The Chrisleys were originally sentenced to a combined 19 years in prison, but the sentences were reduced in September 2023.

Channel 2 Action News first started investigating the Chrisleys in 2017, when we learned that Todd Chrisley had likely evaded paying Georgia state income taxes for several years.

Court documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News showed that by 2018, the Chrisleys owed the state nearly $800,000 in liens.

The couple eventually went to trial and a federal jury found them guilty of bank fraud and tax evasion.

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