- Nanny Faye Chrisley testified in her son and daughter-in-law’s fraud trial.
- She said she wasn’t aware exactly how the couple was using her name on financial records.
- She doesn’t read documents before she signs them, and she forgets things, she testified.
Elizabeth Chrisley — known by fans of her family’s reality TV show as “Nanny Faye” — told the jury in the fraud trial of her son and daughter-in-law that it was her practice to not to read documents before she signed them.
So when she was presented with a list of financial records that said she was an owner of the “7C’s Productions” company — a loan out company where the family was paid for their reality TV show — she said she may have signed them, but she didn’t know anything about their content.
“I don’t read any of it,” Faye Chrisley testified Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors have accused Faye Chrisley’s son Todd and his wife Julie, who star in the USA Network reality series “Chrisley Knows Best,” of evading taxes and operating a conspiracy to defraud banks by making it appear that they were wealthier than they were.
Prosecutors said that when the banks caught on to them, the Chrisleys filed for bankruptcy, walking away from $20 million in debt. The couple went on to hide money from the IRS, the prosecutors said.
Prosecutors allege that to continue that scheme to defraud the IRS, Julie Chrisley signed over ownership of the “7C’s Productions” company to Faye Chrisley. On documents sent to various entities, she was listed as the president, shareholder, and member of the board of the company.
Faye Chrisley testified Thursday, however, that she was only aware that she was a signer on the bank account tied to the company because she needed to be able to sign checks when the rest of the family went to Los Angeles to film a spin-off reality show, “Growing Up Chrisley.”
Prosecution presented a variety of documents, some bearing her signature, that claim she owned the company itself. In one email to a lender at a car dealership, Todd Chrisley identified her as a 75% owner of the company.
“Honey, I had never been involved with nothing except be a signer,” Faye Chrisley told Assistant US Attorney Annalise Peters. “I have never owned it. I don’t want it.”
Nanny Faye says her role on the show is “living my best life”
At one point in her testimony, Federal Judge Eleanor Ross interrupted telling Faye Chrisley to stop referring to Peters — a professional in a courtroom — as “honey.”
“I’m used to it. I didn’t even notice,” Peters said, smiling.
“Not in this courtroom — No,” Ross added.
Chrisley, a South Carolina native, told the court that she worked for 40 years in a textile factory.
Her late husband and Todd Chrisley also worked in the factory.
Todd eventually got out of that line of work, though, when he started flipping houses and found success in the real estate business and moved to Atlanta, she said.
Years later, in 2013, his family was given the reality show “Chrisley Knows Best,” where she also appeared.
Her role on the show, she said, was “living my best life.”
Prosecutors have also alleged that after the IRS started investigating the Chrisleys for fraud, they started rerouting their income from the show to Todd’s mother’s bank account.
Faye Chrisley testified that she gave the couple access to her account years earlier when they were having a “hard time” financially after Mark Braddock stole from them.
“In 2012, when Mark took all of the money out of their bank, I gave them access to my bank and all the money in it,” she said. “If it’s still open, they can still use it.”
When Peters presented Faye Chrisley with an application for financing a Bentley, which was sent in by Todd and Julie Chrisley in her name, she said she didn’t remember anything about it.
That doesn’t mean that she wasn’t at one time informed about it, though, she said.
“I’ve got a lot of age on me, a lot of water under the bridge,” the 77-year-old said. “So I don’t remember some things.”
Braddock, Chrisley’s former business partner, is the one who turned the couple into the FBI for fraud.
He admitted to committing bank fraud, but said it was at their direction, and that he did it because he had lingering romantic feelings for Todd after a year-long affair.
The Chrisleys deny that’s the case, and say he’s an “obsessed” former employee who became vengeful when he was fired from their company.
Braddock was offered immunity for his testimony.