Reality TV star Todd Chrisley had a gay affair with his business partner who later helped him commit fraud, then tipped off cops after their romance went sour, a court heard.
Mark Braddock and Chrisley, 53, reportedly had an affair in the early 2000s before breaking it off. Braddock testified in court that after the affair ended, the pair stayed friends and formed a ‘brotherhood.’
But that platonic alliance ultimately blew up in 2012, when Chrisley threw Braddock out of his office and threatened to call the police on him, Insider reported.
Braddock, who had to tell his own wife about the affair before testifying, turned the Chrisleys into the FBI for tax fraud and told the jury on Tuesday that he didn’t want to be talking about his affair.
Braddock has also been given immunity from prosecution.
After the affair ended, while Chrisley’s former flame worked at Chrisley Asset Management, he claims an anonymous source sent text messages threatening to expose the relationship and his boss’ fraud.
The alleged texts said: ‘Pay cash and we’ll shut up.’
Chrisley and Braddock ended up paying their blackmailer $38,000, which Braddock withdrew from the bank in four $9,500 payments, before meeting Chrisley in a parking garage. He handed over the large amounts of cash ‘in a little bag’ for Chrisley to pay the blackmailer, he testified on Tuesday.
A former employee testified in court that he and Todd Chrisley, 53, (pictured) had a gay affair in the early 2000s and remained friends until 2012, when Chrisley threw him out and threatened to call the cops. The former employee also allegedly helped Chrisley and his wife Julie commit tax fraud before becoming vengeful and turning the reality stars into the FBI
After the Chrisley’s were accused by the FBI of tax invasion, Braddock told jurors that his feelings for Chrisley convinced him to help them commit fraud, he testified on Tuesday.
The former employee created fake tax documents for the reality star and submitted them to banks and impersonated Chrisley in emails and phone calls, Insider reported.
After the two had a falling out, Braddock reportedly wanted to get back at his former lover and created fake email accounts to report the Chrisleys’ criminal behavior to government and news agencies.
In his opening statements, Chrisley’s lawyer Bruce Morris accused Braddock of thinking he was Todd Chrisley and had an ‘obsession’ with him.
Braddock has denied these claims. He also said the only time he’d been with a man was with Chrisley.
Chrisley had publicly addressed rumors about his sexuality in 2017, telling the Domenick Nati Show that the rumors didn’t ‘bother’ him.
He didn’t deny claims he is gay.
Todd and Julie (pictured) are facing a slew of charges for allegedly submitting false reports to the banks and evading $2million in taxes
‘In order for it to disappoint me, it would mean that I don’t agree with someone being gay. I don’t believe that’s a choice that you make. I believe that you are the way that God has made you,’ he said on the show at the time.
‘I’m flattered that people think I can get laid on both ends. So, that doesn’t bother me. And my wife certainly is flattered that as many men want her husband as there are women. With that being said, I’m never going to have a drought. You on the other hand might. But Todd will never have a drought.’
The Chrisley are currently on trial on charges of fraud and evading $2million in tax fraud.
Prosecutors allege that the couple submitted fake documents to banks when applying for loans, and Julie submitted a fake credit report and fake bank statements when trying to rent a house in California.
The couple then allegedly refused to pay rent on the property for a few months after they started living there in October 2014.
Additionally, Todd and Julie have been accused of using a film production company to hide their income in an effort to keep the IRS from collecting $2million in unpaid taxes Todd owed the federal government.
The couple is now believed to be worth an estimated $9million.
They are now charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, five counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of tax fraud.
Julie is also charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.
Their accountant, Peter Tarantino, meanwhile, is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of willfully filing false tax returns. He is set to stand trial alongside the Chrisleys.
Both the Chrisleys and Tarantino have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been free on bond.
The family is best known for their reality show Chrisley Knows Best, which started in 2014 and is currently still on
Between 2008 and 2012, Chrisley Asset Management managed and sold foreclosed properties. The lawsuit alleges Chrisley tricked banks into giving him and his wife large loans by convincing them they were personally worth millions.
It states the Chrisleys and a former employee ‘conspired to submit false materials, such as fabricated bank statements and false personal financial statements, to financial institutions to obtain millions of dollars in loans, much of which they used for their own personal benefit.’
The lawsuit gave an example, from November 5, 2007, how the trio tricked a bank into believing the Chrisleys had $4million in an account with financial institution Merrill Lynch to obtain a loan.
The suit states, ‘When the bank employee requested account statements, Co-conspirator A sent Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley a fabricated bank statement showing that Todd and Julie Chrisley had $776,509.52 on deposit at Merrill Lynch.
‘In response, Todd Chrisley told his co-conspirator, ‘you are a f****** genious [sic]!!! Just make it show 4 mil+.’
In reality, the lawsuit claims, the Chrisleys did not set up a Merrill Lynch account until 2008 and the account never had more than $17,000 in it.
DailyMail.com has contacted the Chrisleys’ lawyer for comment.