The couple’s attorney called the settlement “an encouraging sign” as the pair’s appeal of their criminal convictions will be heard by a court in April
Todd and Julie Chrisley have scored a legal victory amid their ongoing prison sentences for their involvement in multimillion dollar bank fraud and tax evasion scheme.
On Tuesday, a lawyer for the couple announced they are receiving a $1 million settlement from the state of Georgia to resolve their 2019 federal lawsuit against Joshua Waites, the former Director of Special Investigations of the state’s Department of Revenue.
“We have been saying for months that the criminal case against the Chrisleys was highly unusual and had real problems,” the family’s attorney, Alex Little of Burr & Forman LLP, said in a statement. “This settlement is an encouraging sign.”
The statement continued: “It’s nearly unprecedented for one arm of the government to pay money to defendants when another arm is fighting to keep them in jail.”
After being cleared of their state tax evasion charge in Georgia, Todd and Julie took legal action against Waites in Oct. 2019 for “specifically targeting” the famous family in their state tax evasion charge.
According to the lawsuit, which was obtained by PEOPLE, the reality stars’ former lawyer Michael J. Bowers said that Waites’ initial charges against Todd, 54, and Julie, 51, was “a shocking example of how an out-of-control public servant can abuse his office and violate the rights of innocent citizens for reasons that have more to do with securing publicity and money for his office than with enforcing the law.”
The lawsuit claims that several years ago, Waites “began to focus his efforts and desire” on the Chrisley family, particularly Todd as well as his estranged daughter Lindsie.
The Chrisleys accused Waites of targeting Lindise, 34, in an attempt to seek information about the family from her. When he was unable to get the information he wanted from her, Waites allegedly shared the Chrisleys confidential tax information with Lindsie, according to the lawsuit.
“Ultimately Waites’s efforts failed, but in the process, the Chrisleys were forced to incur substantial personal and financial hardship,” Bowers said in the lawsuit.
Despite being cleared by the state tax evasion case, the Chrisleys were indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2019 for 12 counts of bank and wire fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy, all of which they have denied.
The reality stars began their respective prison sentences on Jan. 17, 2023. Todd will be released on Jan. 22, 2033, from the Federal Prison Camp Pensacola. As for Julie, she will be released from the Federal Medical Center Lexington in Kentucky on Oct. 19, 2028. Their original sentences, which were 12 years and seven years, respectively, were reduced in September 2023.
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The attorneys for the couple noted that an appeal of their criminal convictions will be heard by the federal appeals court in Atlanta in April.
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Read the original article on People.