Former "Jersey Shore" personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother admitted Friday that they ducked taxes on what authorities said was nearly $9 million in income from promotional gigs while claiming pricey clothing, high-end cars and personal grooming as business expenses.
Michael Sorrentino, 36, pleaded guilty to tax evasion, while Marc Sorrentino, 38, pleaded guilty to aiding in the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return, both in U.S. District Court in Newark.
After several delays, both were scheduled to go to trial last month. They took plea deals instead.
“What the defendants admitted to today, quite simply, is tantamount to stealing money from their fellow taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Chris 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.”
Michael Sorrentino admitted making cash deposits into bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000 each so the IRS wouldn't be notified.
Marc Sorrentino admitted that he "assisted his accountants in preparing his personal tax returns [for 2010-2012], willfully providing them with false information," Carpenito said.
His personal tax returns under-reported his total income and taxable income, the U.S. Attorney added.
U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton scheduled sentencing for April 25.
Carpenito and Principal Deputy Attorney General Zuckerman credited special agents of the IRS with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of Carpenito's office and Trial Attorneys Yael T. Epstein and Jeffrey B. Bender of the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the original indictment on file in U.S. District Court in Newark:
“The pair conspired to fail to pay all federal income tax owed on approximately $8.9 million earned by Michael Sorrentino between 2010 and 2012. This income was largely received by two companies controlled by the brothers: MPS Entertainment, LLC and Situation Nation, Inc.
“As part of the conspiracy, the brothers submitted or caused to be submitted to the IRS false documents which understated the gross receipts received by the brothers and the two companies. The brothers also submitted false personal tax returns which failed to report all of the income they received, and Michael failed to file a personal tax return in 2011, despite earning $1,995,757 that year.
“As part of the conspiracy, the brothers also fraudulently claimed millions of dollars in personal expenses as business expenses, including payments for high-end vehicles and clothing, personal grooming expenses, and distributions – or direct payments – from the businesses to personal bank accounts.”
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