Sorrentino Brothers in a ‘Situation’; Plead not Guilty to Conspiracy and Tax Fraud

Michael Sorrentino aka “The Situation” and his brother Marc Sorrentino who found themselves in a tax ‘situation’ pleaded not guilty to tax and conspiracy charges before US Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in the MLK Jr. Federal Courthouse in Newark. Michael, a star of the popular MTV reality TV show ‘Jersey Shore’, and his brother were indicted on charges of not paying taxes to the tune of $8.9 million from income accrued from promotional activities.

Big Money

If convicted, the pair could face several years in jail. They were released on a $250,000 unsecured bond each. Both chose to surrender to US marshals and IRS special agents before appearing in federal court. Both brothers are scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 6th.

Michael Sorrentino, who left the federal courthouse after the 8 minute hearing with his tax lawyer, failed to make any comments and so did his brother Marc, who left separately with his attorney. Michael, who played a role in the “Jersey Shore,” which ran on MTV from 2009-12 allegedly made $9 million from the show that saw him frolicking with five others in their 20s at a beach house in Seaside Heights. The brothers also feature in “The Sorrentinos”, a family based reality show also starring their mother, brother, and sister. Some people believe you have to be very bored to watch this show.

The Sorrentino’s have been charged on one count of committing conspiracy to defraud the United States. Michael has been charged with two counts of filing false tax returns for 2010-2012 while Marc has been charged with three counts for the same. According to the US Attorney’s office, Michael has also been slapped with an additional count for failing to file tax returns for 2011. He is almost as irresponsible as the IRS itself.

They face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines for the conspiracy charges. Wow, hold up now! What is the penalty for not providing enough protection for a US ambassador and when he is being attacked, you do not send in any nearby forces to help him out? On false tax return charges, each face a maximum sentence of three years in prison along with a $250,000 fine. The additional charge of failing to file tax returns could have Michael Sorrentino face a one year jail term and a $100,000 fine.

What is the penalty for brandishing a weapon and voter intimidation which occurred in 2008 in the McCain/Obama election in Philadelphia?

Caught in a Financial Whirlwind

According to the authorities, the brothers received income primarily from two companies, MPS Entertainment and Situation Nation. They are said to have claimed millions of dollars fraudulently in personal expenses as business expenses. These included clothing, personal grooming and high end vehicles for which direct payments were made from the two businesses to their personal bank accounts. According to IRS-Criminal Investigation acting special agent in charge, Jonathan D. Larsen, the two brothers fraudulently claimed to earn less income by filing false returns.

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Apart from television and personal appearances, some of their other sources of income came from ownership of an online clothing business, a vodka company, and endorsements of vitamins, jewelry, clothing, and even the publication of an autobiography and comic book featuring Michael Sorrentino as a superhero. More money came from contracts with booking agencies that had Michael make appearances at different entertainment venues in exchange for fees ranging from $1,500 to $48,000 per appearance, most of which was paid in cash.

Michael Sorrentino is apparently no stranger to brushes with the law. In July, he appeared in a Middletown Municipal Court on charges of assaulting his brother Frank. That seems like a personal problem though. The case was adjourned for 12 weeks following his willingness to undergo anger management therapy. Marc Sorrentino was also accused in 2010 of hitting Kathryn Redino of New York City in the stomach with his forearm while exiting a limo at his Dorado Beach Court home. There could be something here though.

A Circus

However, no charges were filed by the patrolling officer since there was lack of evidence of any assault. Later Redino filed a complaint on her own while Marc responded by accusing her of providing false information. The two parties subsequently dropped charges against each other in the Municipal Court.