Reality television personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, pleaded guilty today to violating federal tax laws, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS CI) Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen.
According to documents and information provided to the court, Michael Sorrentino, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and Marc Sorrentino, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return.
“Today’s pleas are a reminder to all individuals to comply with the tax laws, file honest and accurate returns and pay their fair share,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman. “The Tax Division is committed to continuing to work with the IRS to prosecute those who seek to cheat the system, while honest hardworking taxpayers play by the rules.”
“What the defendants admitted to today, quite simply, is tantamount to stealing money from their fellow taxpayers,” said U.S. Attorney Carpenito. “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.”
“As we approach this year’s filing season, today’s guilty pleas should serve as a stark reminder to those who would attempt to defraud our nation’s tax system,” stated Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office. “No matter what your stature is in our society, everyone is expected to play by the rules, and those who do not will be held accountable and brought to justice.”
Michael Sorrentino was a reality television personality who gained fame on “The Jersey Shore,” which first appeared on the MTV network. According to documents and information provided to the court, he and his brother, Marc, created businesses, such as MPS Entertainment LLC and Situation Nation Inc., to take advantage of Michael’s celebrity status.
Michael Sorrentino admitted that in tax year 2011, he earned taxable income, including some that was paid in cash, and that he concealed a portion of his income to evade paying the full amount of taxes he owed. He also made cash deposits into bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000, in an effort to ensure that these deposits would not come to the attention of the IRS.
Marc Sorrentino admitted that for tax year 2010, he earned taxable income and that he assisted his accountants in preparing his personal tax return by willfully providing them with false information and fraudulently underreporting his income.
U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton scheduled sentencing for April 25. Michael Sorrentino faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for tax evasion. Marc Sorrentino faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison for aiding in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return. Both also face a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. Gregg Mark, the accountant for the Sorrentino brothers, previously pleaded guilty in 2015 to conspiring to defraud the United States with respect to their tax liabilities.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Carpenito praised special agents of IRS CI, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Yael T. Epstein and Jeffrey B. Bender of the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.