NEWARK, N.J. — Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino of “Jersey Shore” reality television fame has admitted in court that he cheated on his income taxes and faces up to five years in prison.
Sorrentino, 36, pleaded guilty today, January 19, to one count of tax evasion, admitting that in 2011 he concealed his taxable income by making cash deposits into bank accounts in amounts of less than $10,000 each so they would not come to the attention of the IRS, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey.
His brother, Marc Sorrentino, 38, pleaded guilty to aiding in preparing false tax returns that under-reported his income and faces up to three years in federal prison, the office reported.
Both men, who also can be fined up to $250,000 each, made their pleas before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark. Sentencing is scheduled for April 25.
“What the defendants admitted to today, quite simply, is tantamount to stealing money from their fellow taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. “All of us are required by law to pay our fair share of taxes. Celebrity status does not provide a free pass from this obligation.”
Outside the courthouse following the proceeding, Michael Sorrentino’s attorney, Henry Klingeman, told the media that his client has come to terms with a mistake he made during a tumultuous time in his life. “He deeply regrets his failure to pay taxes and has spent the past several years turning his life positive … he’s grown up as a human being.”
Michael Sorrentino gained fame as a cast member of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” which dominated reality TV ratings for six seasons. The show followed a group of hard-partying young adults who spent their summers at a beach house in Seaside Heights.
He and his brother, Marc, created businesses, such as MPS Entertainment LLC and Situation Nation Inc., to take advantage of Michael’s celebrity status, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Following his court appearance, Michael Sorrentino, who lists Manalapan as his residence, posted on social media, “Let the first pumping begin”— an apparent reference to the new MTV reality series by the "Jersey Shore" cast, which is beginning production in South Florida. Sorrentino has the court’s approval to make the trip for the "Family Vacation" reunion show, according to press reports.
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