NEWARK, NJ — Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino of reality television’s “Jersey Shore” has been sentenced to eight months in prison for violating federal tax laws, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey.
Sorrentino also was ordered today, October 5 by U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to serve two years of supervised release and 500 hours of community service, as well as to pay a $10,000 fine and $123,000 in restitution, which has been paid in full, the attorney’s office said in a release.
His brother, Marc Sorrentino, will serve 24 months in prison and one year of supervised release, and be fined $7,500, with restitution to be determined at a later date.
Michael Sorrentino, 37, previously pleaded guilty before Judge Wigenton to tax evasion, while Marc Sorrentino, 39, pleaded guilty to aiding in the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return.
“The law requires all Americans to pay our fair share of taxes,” said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, District of New Jersey. “These defendants deliberately flouted this requirement, acting as though fame and celebrity status placed them above the law. They are not. Tax fraud is as serious as any other form of theft from the government, and the sentences imposed today should make that abundantly clear.”
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division, added that lying to and defrauding the federal government is a very serious crime, regardless of a defendant’s celebrity status.
“The Sorrentino brothers chose to use Michael’s fame to benefit themselves at the expense of the American taxpayer, and with the help of our federal partners, they were held accountable,” Zuckerman said.
IRS Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur said the courts recognize the severity of these crimes and “now Michael and Marc Sorrentino are convicted felons with prison sentences to serve for intentionally disregarding their tax obligations to our country.”
“Tax crimes, plain and simple, are an outright theft from the hardworking American public,” said Tafur of the IRS criminal investigation unit in the Newark field office.
The Sorrentinos 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.
Michael Sorrentino admitted that in tax year 2011, he earned taxable income, including some that was paid in cash, and that he took certain actions to conceal some of his income to avoid paying the full amount of taxes he owed. He made cash deposits into bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000 each so that these deposits would not come to the attention of the IRS.
Marc Sorrentino admitted that during tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012, he earned taxable income and that he assisted his accountants in preparing his personal tax return for those years, willfully providing them with false information. His personal tax returns under-reported his total income and taxable income.
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. Now, many of those cast members, including Sorrentino, have returned to reality TV in “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation,”
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