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Todd Chrisley says he's facing retaliation in prison for doing interviews

The "Chrisley Knows Best" patriarch was originally serving 12 years, while his wife was given a seven-year sentence before their time was shortened.
/ Source: TODAY

Todd and Julie Chrisley have been serving their time in prison since January 2023.

The “Chrisley Knows Best” stars were sentenced to a combined 19 years of prison after being found guilty of federal fraud charges and hiding their wealth from tax authorities.

The couple reported to their respective prisons in mid-January 2023, with Todd Chrisley originally serving 12 years at Federal Prison Camp Pensacola in Florida, while Julie Chrisley reported to the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Lexington in Kentucky for her seven-year sentence.

On Sept. 8, 2023, it was confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that Todd and Julie Chrisley's sentences were shortened.

In a new interview released on Feb. 21, Todd Chrisley told NewsNation’s “Banfield” about his living conditions while incarcerated and says the prison retaliated against him by not allowing him into the prison chapel because he was doing interviews.

“They had sent the priest out of here, in the middle of his service, made him leave. They have never found any contraband in there. This is the second time they did it, and they did this one this morning, because they got word that I was going to be doing another interview with NewsNation,” he told senior national correspondent Brian Entin. “So that was their way of trying to intimidate me. I just walked out and said ‘It ain’t gonna change what I’m gonna say.’”

In a statement to, a Benjamin O’Cone from the office of public affairs for Federal Prison Camp Pensacola said: “For privacy, safety, and security reasons, we do not comment on the conditions of confinement for any individual in our custody, nor do we comment on anecdotical allegations.”

O’Cone, however, did provide general information about the prison’s mission of operating “facilities that are safe, secure, and humane. We take seriously our duty to protect the individuals entrusted in our custody, as well as maintaining the safety of our employees and the community. Humane treatment of the men and women in our custody is a top priority. All allegations of misconduct, including retaliation, are referred for administrative action and/or criminal prosecution if warranted.”

Additionally, O’Cone stated that the Federal Bureau of Prisons “provides individuals of all faith groups the opportunity to pursue their religious beliefs and practices. Institution chaplains are responsible for managing religious activities within the institution, including providing pastoral care, religious education, counseling, and religious instruction.”

The statement also noted that the FBOP also has an “Administrative Remedy Program for incarcerated individuals to seek formal review and redress of almost any concern they have regarding their incarceration.”

Meanwhile, their children — Savannah and Chase Chrisley — have kept people updated on their “nightmare” conditions.

Here's everything to know about Todd and Julie Chrisley's legal case.

E3 Chophouse Nashville Grand Opening Party
Julie Chrisley (L) and Todd Chrisley attend the grand opening of E3 Chophouse Nashville on November 20, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. Danielle Del Valle / Getty Images for E3 Chophouse Na

March 2017: Todd Chrisley is investigated in Georgia

According to Atlanta area television station WSB-TV, the family patriarch was under state investigation after it was exposed that he failed to pay Georgia income taxes for years.

August 2019: Todd and Julie Chrisley are indicted

The reality stars were indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta for 12 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to a copy obtained by NBC News.

The family accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also charged in Georgia’s Northern District.

At the time, Todd Chrisley maintained his innocence, stating in a lengthy statement that they had done nothing wrong.

“We have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of,” he wrote in part on Instagram. “Not only do we know we’ve done nothing wrong, but we’ve got a ton of hard evidence and a bunch of corroborating witnesses that proves it.”

October 2019: Georgia tax case against the couple is settled

The couple settled their Georgia state tax-evasion charge, agreeing to pay $147,944.75 to settle the case with the Georgia Department of Revenue and got a refund of more than $66,000 for the tax years from 2013 to 2016, NBC affiliate WXIA of Atlanta reported at the time.

However, the couple still faced the 12-count federal indictment.

At the time, their reps told NBC News that while they have been accused of evading nearly $2 million in taxes between 2008 and 2016, they actually overpaid the state in four of those years.

“Julie and I knew all along that we had done nothing wrong and that when the facts all came out, we would be fine,” Todd Chrisley said in a statement released by their representatives. “We’re just glad that the Department of Revenue was willing to keep an open mind and look at all the evidence.”

June 2022: Todd and Julie Chrisley are convicted on federal fraud charges

After starting their trial in May, on June 7, 2022, Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

According to NBC News, investigators accused the spouses of submitting false documents to request bank loans and using a production company to hide income from the IRS.

November 2022: Todd and Julie Chrisley are sentenced to prison

On Nov. 21, 2022, Todd Chrisley was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while Julie Chrisley was sentenced to seven years, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Tarantino, their accountant, was also found guilty of tax fraud for filing false corporate tax returns on their behalf. Julie Chrisley was additionally found guilty of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

At the time, lawyers for the Chrisleys said that neither of the two “purposely sought to inflict the harm upon the banks” and Todd Chrisley intended to repay the bank loans.

Additionally,  Julie Chrisley’s lawyers said she had a minimal role in the conspiracy and asked to instead get probation, restitution and community service, the Associated Press reported at the time.

The couple's attorney stated at the time that they would plan on appealing.

In a Nov. 29 episode of the “Unlocked with Savannah Chrisley” podcast, Julie Chrisley said she never “intentionally tried to do anything” wrong.

“I’ve never gone out here and hurt a soul,” she told her daughter. “I have never gone out here and intentionally tried to do anything that I wasn’t supposed to do and look where I’m standing right now.”

January 2023: Todd and Julie Chrisley report to prison

On Jan. 17, 2023, the pair reported to their respective prisons. Todd Chrisley began serving his 12 years at Federal Prison Camp Pensacola in Florida, while Julie Chrisley reported to the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Lexington in Kentucky to serve her seven-year sentence.

A few weeks later, Savannah Chrisley shared how her parents were spending their time while incarcerated. During a Jan. 31 episode of her “Unlocked” podcast, she said her father was focusing on his religion, working in the chapel and communicating with him via email.

She said her mother was playing cards and also going to church. “My mom, she’s made friends. She’s keeping busy. She’s going to church,” she explained. “She’s working. She’s playing some spades.

July 2023: Chase Chrisley says the prison environment is a 'nightmare'

Months after Savannah Chrisley said her parents aren't able to speak to one another, her brother, Chase Chrisley, recalled visiting his parents and seeing them living in “inhumane conditions.”

“It’s a nightmare,” he said on the July 25 episode of “Unlocked with Savannah Chrisley.” “Now they both have no air conditioning. They are both in states where it gets to be 100+ degrees and there’s no air conditioning.”

Savannah Chrisley added that at her mom’s prison she “has rattlesnakes just casually slithering on the floor in front of her.” Her brother clarified that they weren’t rattlesnakes but they “were poisonous snakes.”

“So she just had snakes literally right there where her bed is,” Savannah Chrisley continued, with Chase Chrisley adding, “And then the way they think to apprehend the snake is to mace it.”

September 2023: Todd and Julie Chrisley’s prison sentences are shortened

On Sept. 8, it was confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that Todd Chrisley will be released on Jan. 22, 2033, two years less than his original sentence.

As for Julie Chrisley, her sentence was reduced by 14 months and will now be released on Oct. 19. 2028.

November 2023: Savannah Chrisley shares positive update about her parents' appeals

On Nov. 21, Savannah Chrisley gave an update about her parents' appeal, sharing how the appeals court granted their oral arguments.

“I am freaking out. As you know, we are spending Thanksgiving a little different this year, because I wasn’t going to fake it. I wasn’t going to do the traditional Thanksgiving we’re always used to, but I got a call this morning and the appeals court has granted our oral arguments. So, I literally was sobbing,” she said on Instagram. “It is one step closer to getting mom and dad home.”

“It’s just amazing,” Savannah Chrisley added.

According to UnitedStatesCourts.Gov, a site maintained by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary, oral arguments are a stage in the appeals process where both sides of a case present details before a three-judge panel. The appellate judge will issue a decision either before or after the oral argument. However more than 80% of appeals are decided in the written stage.

“We get to go and argue why mom and dad should be home, so God is good. Thanksgiving win!” she said.

December 2023: Todd Chrisley speaks out from prison for the first time

For the first time since they entered prison, Todd Chrisley spoke out his living conditions, which include rats, squirrels and attempted extortion.

“It is so disgustingly filthy. The food is literally, I’m not exaggerating... the food is dated, and it’s out of date by, at minimum, a year,” Chrisley said via a phone interview on Chris Cuomo’s NewsNation show “Cuomo” on Dec. 11. “It’s a year past expiration. And they are literally starving these men to death here. These men are getting, I don’t know, they are getting a thousand calories a day.”

He also said that people were reaching out to daughter Savannah Chrisley for money for his protection.

“There was a photograph taken of me while I was sleeping and sent to my daughter asking for $2,600 dollars a month for my protection,” he claimed.