The situation with one former cast member of MTV’s Jersey Shore: Guilty.
Michael “the Situation” Sorrentino, 36, has pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion in federal court in Newark, N.J., and now faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey announced Friday. Sorrentino’s brother, Marc, 38, also pleaded guilty to aiding in the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return, and faces up to three years in prison.
“What the defendants admitted to today, quite simply, is tantamount to stealing money from their fellow taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a statement. “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.”
Prosecutors said Michael Sorrentino admitted that in 2011, he “took certain actions to conceal some of his income to avoid paying the full amount of taxes he owed.” He also admitted to making “cash deposits into bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000 each” to avoid detection by the IRS.
Brother Marc, prosecutors added, admitted to having “assisted his accountants in preparing his personal tax return” between 2010 and 2012, during which time he was “willfully providing them with false information.” As a result, Marc’s personal tax returns underreported his taxable income.
In addition to prison time, the Sorrentino brothers also face a fine of up to $250,000 each. Sentencing is scheduled for April 25.
The pair in 2014 were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, as well as tax evasion and falsifying records counts. In that case, prosecutors alleged that the Sorrentinos avoided paying taxes on as much as $8.9 million in income. The following year, the Sorrentinos’ tax preparer, Gregg Mark, pleaded guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns for them, Forbes reported. Additional charges against the brothers were announced last year.
Despite the charges, the Situation’s time on Jersey Shore is far from over. As NJ.com reported, the court gave him permission to go to Florida prior to sentencing, to film a Jersey Shore reunion show. Dubbed Jersey Shore Family Vacation, that show will premiere on MTV this year.