The former tax preparer for television personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, today admitted filing fraudulent tax returns on their behalf, Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman of the District of New Jersey announced.
Gregg Mark, 51, of Spotswood, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: Mark, formerly an accountant at a Staten Island, New York-based accounting firm, admitted preparing fraudulent tax returns for the Sorrentinos for tax years 2010 and 2011, during which time the Sorrentinos and their businesses – MPS Enterprises LLC and Situation Nation Inc. – received millions of dollars in income. To reduce the taxes the Sorrentinos owed, Mark caused to be prepared and filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fraudulent business and personal tax returns. Mark admitted the Sorrentinos’ false returns defrauded the IRS out of $550,000 to $1.5 million.
On Sept. 24, a grand jury in Newark returned a seven-count indictment charging the Sorrentinos with conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing false tax returns. Michael Sorrentino was also charged with failing to file a tax return. According to the indictment, the brothers received several million dollars in connection with Michael Sorrentino’s role as a cast member on the MTV television show “Jersey Shore” and other promotional activities. The brothers are charged with failing to report all of the income they received. They are also charged with claiming personal expenses as business expenses, including payments for luxury vehicles and high-end clothing, and making distributions – or direct payments – from the businesses to personal bank accounts. Both have pleaded not guilty; a trial date has not yet been set.
The conspiracy charge to which Mark pleaded guilty carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 24, 2016.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark and Assistant Chief Tino M. Lisella and Trial Attorneys Yael T. Epstein and Jeffrey B. Bender of the Tax Division.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.