Todd Chrisley ordered to pay $755K in defamation lawsuit

Todd Chrisley (Photo by: USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Jailed reality TV star Todd Chrisley is facing a new financial setback after a federal jury ruled he defamed a Georgia Department of Revenue investigator.

On Wednesday, a Georgia judge ruled that the "Chrisley Knows Best" star must pay Amy Doherty-Heinze $755,000 in damages and legal fees, court records obtained by FOX 5 showed.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Doherty-Heinze sued Chrisley in 2021, claiming in her lawsuit that he accused her of "a multitude of crimes and wrongdoings" and of engaging "in criminal misconduct" while in her role as an investigator for the Georgia agency.

Christley had tried to get the case thrown out before she filed the lawsuit, but she claimed he kept defaming her in his podcast with his wife, Julie Chrisley.

This is just the latest setback for Chrisley, who is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Florida's minimum security prison, FPC Pensacola.

This year, the Chrisleys won a $1 million settlement against the state of Georgia over the Department of Revenue's investigation into their tax information. The federal government has since asked the court to seize that payout as part of the $17 million restitution the couple owes.

What were Todd and Julie Chrisley found guilty of?

While Todd and Julie Chrisley settled their case with the Georgia Department of Revenue for nearly $150,000, they were found guilty in 2022 of tax evasion and defrauding community banks out of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans in federal court. 

Prosecutors said the couple neglected their responsibility to repay the loans when Todd Chrisley declared bankruptcy. While in bankruptcy, they started their reality show and "flaunted their wealth and lifestyle to the American public," prosecutors wrote, and then hid the millions they made from the show from the IRS. Julie Chrisley was also convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.


The Chrisleys gained fame with their show "Chrisley Knows Best," which followed their tight-knit family on the USA Network. The couple spent millions on designer-brand clothes, luxury cars and real estate, including two mansions in Nashville, Tennessee, reportedly worth about $9 million

An Atlanta U.S. District Court judge sentenced Todd Chrisley to 12 years in prison, and Julie Chrisley to seven years. Each is to serve three years of supervised release afterward.

In addition to prison time, the couple has been ordered to immediately pay more than $17 million in restitution to the banks they swindled millions from, according to judgment documents.

Peter Tarantino, an accountant hired by the couple, was found guilty of defrauding the United States and willfully filing false tax returns. He will serve three years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.