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What Will Happen To Todd And Julie Chrisley's Children If They End Up In Prison Following Bank Fraud Verdict?

Todd and Julie Chrisley in interview for Chrisley Knows Best
(Image credit: USA Network)

Todd and Julie Chrisley’s trial in Atlanta these past few weeks (over charges related to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, tax evasion and obstruction of justice) played out in rather dramatic fashion. While witnesses took the stand in the case, Todd was accused of having a gay love affair by a co-conspirator and his daughter’s testimony supposedly riled up the jury so much that they had an outburst in court. Yet the biggest bombshell was the eventual guilty verdicts brought down on the married couple on June 7. They plan to appeal the decision, but if they do end up in prison for their reported crimes, fans are wondering what will happen to the younger children who are currently in their custody.

Altogether, the family has four adult children (two from a previous marriage) and one younger son, 16-year-old Grayson Chrisley. The Chrisleys have also been raising their 9-year-old granddaughter, Chloe, in the wake of her father’s substance abuse issues. At the moment, Todd and Julie are out on bond until their sentencing court date in October, which could see them get as much as 30 years in prison. This poses a major problem for the future of Grayson and Chloe if their guardians are ordered to serve any such sentencing at the same time. In that possible outcome, former federal prosecutor David Haas told In Touch,

Depending on the family availability, sometimes, the kids will be raised by close family members if both parents receive prison time.

The legal expert noted that the court can take minors into account when imposing the sentencing of parents or guardians. All in all, there are no absolute guarantees about what could happen. If Todd and Julie Chrisley both have to go to prison simultaneously, then likely either Nanny Faye (Todd’s 78-year-old mother) or one of the older siblings will take over custody of the two younger kids.

The other possibility is that if they are given relatively short sentences, then Todd Chrisley might be allowed to serve his stint first, so Julie can still look after those kids, and then she would do her bid after he is released (or vice versa). We know of at least one other reality TV star case where this happened: the Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa and Joe Giudice.

In 2013, the then-married couple faced similar charges as the Chrisleys of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. However, the Giudices ultimately decided to strike a guilty plea deal with prosecutors, where Teresa got hit with only 15 months in prison and Joe, 41 months. The courts allowed them to stagger their sentences due to their four young daughters at home, so Joe surrendered himself upon Teresa’s release after less than a year of prison time served.

There’s also the added complication of how the Chrisleys’ guilty verdict may impact their successful shows on the USA Network. The plan is for the rest of Season 9 of Chrisley Knows Best to still be released this month, but the tenth season that was greenlighted prior to the bank fraud trial is reportedly up in the air. Which, in turn, could mean a delay for the likewise greenlighted next season of the adult kids’ spinoff, Growing Up Chrisley. However, it may be the network will work around the situation, just as Bravo also did for Teresa Giudice during Season 6 and 7 of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

To reiterate, though, Todd and Julie Chrisley’s circumstances are a bit different (which is to say more serious), considering they have been accused of defrauding banks of upwards of $60 million in the past in order to breakeven on their huge monthly expenses. We’ll keep you updated on the latest as the family awaits the formal sentencing.

Season 9 of Chrisley Knows Best premieres June 23 on the USA Network as part of the 2022 TV schedule.

Lauren Vanderveen
Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.