Jersey Shore Star Caught in Tax Fraud Case
Michael Sorrentino, the star of the hit MTV reality show ‘Jersey Shore’ a.k.a “The Situation” is caught up in a situation. The star and his brother Marc Sorrentino were in federal court on Wednesday for a tax and conspiracy hearing. If proved, the charges could land the brothers in jail for years together. However, the star and his brother have pleaded not guilty for now.
The pair has been charged for tax avoidance. According to the star’s tax attorney, there is a charge that Sorrentino and his brother did not pay proper taxes on an amount of $8.9 million which the reality star earned from his promotional activities and for making absolutely useless television that certain Americans enjoy watching.
The hearing lasted for seven and a half minutes and US Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion was in charge of the hearing. The brothers have currently been released on unsecured bond of $250,000 but their tax attorneys say that they are ready for trial as there is absolutely no base for the charges levied against them.
The pair is being represented by tax attorneys Richard Sapinski of Newark, who is working with Sorrentino, and Chris Adams of Colts Neck who is representing Marc. Both the TV stars avoided talking to the media after exiting the courthouse and kept up a stony silence even as reporters hounded them with questions about the oncoming trial.
Impressive TV run; not so impressive tax record
The MTV Jersey Shore ran from 2009-12 and made Sorrentino a huge name among the 20 somethings of today. It is impressive that Michael made an approximate $9 million from his TV appearances and cashed in well on his fame. But not paying proper taxes on your income is certainly not an impressive thing to do. The charges against the brothers read as one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and three counts for Marc and two counts for Michael of filing false tax returns in the fiscal period 2010-12.
Additionally, the US Attorney’s office has also charged the TV star with allegedly failing to file a proper a tax return for the year of 2011. The Sorrentinos surrendered themselves to IRS special agents and US marshals on Wednesday before their hearing in court.
Years in jail if charges proved
The conspiracy counts against the brothers carries a maximum penalty under US law of five years in prison and an additional fine of $250,000. The charge of filing false tax returns could earn the Sorrentinos a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Michael’s charge of failing to file a tax return for 2011 can land him in jail for another year and cost him an additional $100,000 fine.
According to the tax attorneys in the US attorney’s office, the brothers had fraudulently claimed millions of dollars in personal expenses as business expenses to cut down on their taxes. This includes high-end vehicle purchases, clothes, personal grooming, and direct payments to personal bank accounts. The contentious $9 million that Sorrentino earned from his TV run was received by two companies that are owned by the brothers: MPS Entertainment and Situation Nation.