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Todd Chrisley’s former business partner testified that they had an intimate relationship.
The affair and romantic feelings for Chrisley were behind his willingness to commit fraud, he said.
Chrisley’s attorney said in his introduction that Braddock was “obsessed” with his client.
Todd Chrisley’s former business partner testified in his federal fraud trial on Tuesday that they paid a blackmailer $38,000 in cash after the unnamed person threatened to expose their intimate relationship.
Mark Braddock, who turned Chrisley and his wife Julie at the FBI, told an Atlanta jury that he had an affair with Chrisley for about a year in the early 2000s. After their intimate relationship ended, they had formed a “brotherhood” and were close friends until 2012, he testified.
At some point when Braddock was working for Chrisley’s foreclosure management company, Chrisley Asset Management, they began receiving anonymous text messages threatening to expose them to fraud and their secret affair, Braddock said.
The texts read “pay cash and we’ll shut up,” Braddock said.
Braddock said he then made four withdrawals of $9,500 from the company’s account. He then met Chrisley in a parking lot and gave her the money “in a small bag” to pay the blackmailer.
Federal prosecutors have charged Todd and his wife, Julie Chrisley, who stars in USA Network’s reality series “Chrisley Knows Best,” with tax evasion and organizing a conspiracy to defraud banks by making it appear that ‘they were richer than they were to live an extravagant lifestyle that they couldn’t afford.
When the banks discovered them, the Chrisleys filed for bankruptcy, forfeiting $20 million in debt, and the couple continued to hide money from the IRS, prosecutors say.
Braddock, who told the FBI he committed bank fraud on behalf of Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley and himself, said he had feelings for Chrisley even after their extramarital affair ended.
Those feelings — which developed when the two opened up during their affair — played a part in why Braddock was willing to commit fraud on Chrisley’s behalf, Braddock said Tuesday.
Braddock, who was granted immunity from prosecution, admitted to creating forged documents and submitting them to banks for profit. He also admitted to sending emails and making phone calls impersonating Todd Chrisley, to the best of his knowledge.
Braddock and Todd Chrisley had a falling out in 2012 and haven’t spoken since Chrisley locked him out of the office and threatened to have him arrested.
After the falling out, Braddock became vengeful, he admitted in court.
Braddock then created fake email addresses under fake names, which he used to send incriminating information about the Chrisleys to government and news outlets, he admitted during cross-examination.
Chrisley’s attorney, Bruce Morris, alleged in his opening statement that Braddock was “obsessed” with Todd Chrisley and wanted to be him.
Morris implied in his cross-examination of Braddock that he believed to be Todd Chrisley.
Braddock, however, denied that was the case and said the two were in an intimate relationship.
Neither Chrisley’s family nor the jury had a palpable reaction to the testimony.
Todd Chrisley has publicly addressed rumors about his sexuality in the past, saying they don’t bother him.
In order to be offended by these accusations, he said in a 2017 interview, “it would mean that I’m not okay with someone being gay.”
“I’m flattered that people think I can get laid on both sides. So I don’t mind that,” Chrisley said in the interview. “And my wife is certainly flattered that as many men want her husband as there are women.”
Braddock, however, testified Tuesday that he did not want to speak publicly about his affair and that his relationship with Todd Chrisley was his first time with a man.
He had to raise the matter with his wife before being called to testify, he told the jury on Tuesday.
Read the original Insider article
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