Television personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino was sentenced to eight months in prison, and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for violating federal tax laws. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for District of New Jersey, and IRS Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur made the announcement.
Tax evasion charges were originally brought against Michael Sorrentino, 37, and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, 39, in September 2014, and a superseding indictment returned in April 2017 added additional charges. Michael previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to Count 13 of a superseding indictment, which charged him with tax evasion. Marc pleaded guilty to Count 5, which charged him with aiding in the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.
“Lying to and defrauding the federal government is a very serious crime, regardless of a defendant’s celebrity status,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman. “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.”
“The law requires all Americans to pay our fair share of taxes. These defendants deliberately flouted this requirement, acting as though fame and celebrity status placed them above the law. They are not,” said U.S. Attorney Carpenito. Tax fraud is as serious as any other form of theft from the government, and the sentences imposed today should make that abundantly clear.”
“Tax crimes, plain and simple, are an outright theft from the hardworking American public,” stated John R. Tafur, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office. “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.”
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Michael Sorrentino was a reality television personality who gained fame on “The Jersey Shore,” which first appeared on the MTV network. 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 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.
In addition to the terms of imprisonment, Judge Wigenton ordered Michael Sorrentino to serve two years of supervised release and pay $123,913 in restitution and a criminal fine of $10,000. Marc Sorrentino was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and pay a criminal fine of $7,500.