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Deliberations Begin in the Todd and Julie Chrisley Fraud Trial

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Closing arguments in the fraud case against Chrisley Knows Best stars Todd and Julie Chrisley ended Friday, allowing jurors a couple of hours to deliberate before leaving for the weekend. One jury member did not return to hear the case on May 23 after notifying the court he had tested positive for COVID-19. On Friday, a female juror was dismissed after appearing to have been fighting sleep during closing arguments. Judge Eleanor Ross told the woman she had been observing her struggling to stay awake throughout the entire trial and felt it impaired her ability to find the case. The juror denied she had been sleeping and the three defense attorneys objected to her dismissal. A jury of 12 and two alternates remained.

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The defense rested their case on Thursday and the majority it was an effort to show that the Chrisleys did make an effort before and after the IRS investigated them to pay their taxes. The jury saw emails from Todd Chrisley to his accountant, Peter Tarantino, who is also on trial as part of the conspiracy. In them, Chrisley is asking about the status of his taxes.

RELATED: Todd Chrisley’s Mother Testifies

The defense lawyers argued that Mark Braddock’s, Todd Chrisley’s former business partner, claims of an affair are pure fantasy and suggested that Braddock is the very picture of reasonable doubt. In 2021, an investigator found a Telegram profile connected to Braddock’s phone number. It bore Mark Braddock’s photo and the name “Mark Chrisley.” Julie Chrisley’s attorney, Christopher Anulewicz, said:

Todd Chrisley’s attorney, Bruce Morris, leaned into the fact that the government’s case relied heavily on emails provided by Braddock, who has admitted to perjuring himself in the past. Morris also pointed out the absence of any AOL or experts in electronic communications to testify their authenticity.

Assistant US Attorney Thomas Krepp told the jury he agreed Braddock was a criminal and that they should hate that he got immunity and should not trust him, but they should also trust the records and testimony from other witnesses that prove Todd Chrisley was the ringleader of the fraud that Braddock carried out. Krepp told the jury:

Todd Chrisley and the couple’s daughter Savannah, who had been present in the courtroom throughout the trial, wept as Judge Eleanor Ross instructed the jury on the charges. The Chrisleys each face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

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