NEWARK – Television personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, famed for his appearance on the reality cable TV show Jersey Shore, and his brother Marc Sorrentino are expected to appear in federal court in Newark on Wednesday to face an indictment alleging they did not properly pay taxes on $8.9 million in income Michael Sorrentino received from promotional activities, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Michael Sorrentino and his brother Marc Sorrentino are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The brothers also are charged with three and two counts, respectively, of filing false tax returns for 2010 through 2012. Michael Sorrentino faces an additional count for allegedly failing to file a tax return for 2011. The defendants are expected to surrender to special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and United States Marshals prior to their court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.
“According to the indictment, Michael and Marc Sorrentino filed false tax returns that incorrectly reported millions made from promotions and appearances,” said Fishman in a written statement. “The brothers allegedly also claimed costly clothes and cars as business expenses and funneled company money into personal accounts. The law is absolutely clear: telling the truth to the IRS is not optional.”
“Most individuals file truthful tax returns and pay their fair share of taxes. However, as alleged in today’s indictment, rather than living in reality and reporting their true income, Michael Sorrentino and his brother Marc created the illusion that they earned less income by filing false and fraudulent tax returns,” stated Jonathan D. Larsen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office. “No matter what your occupation or status in life, if you attempt to cheat on your taxes for personal financial gain, you face real consequences including criminal prosecution and a possible prison sentence.”
Both Michael and Mark Sorrentino are expected to be arraigned on the indictment before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court on Oct. 6, 2014.
According to the indictment returned Wednesday, Michael Sorrentino and his brother Marc, Michael’s manager, 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.
The conspiracy and filing false tax return counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count charging Michael Sorrentino with failing to file a tax return carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.