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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Michael "The Situation" And Marc Sorrentino Indicted For Tax Crimes Involving $8.9 Million Income

NEWARK, N.J. - Television personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother Marc Sorrentino are expected to appear in federal court this afternoon 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. Marc and Michael Sorrentino 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. Mannionin 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 U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. “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 today:

Michael Sorrentino is a reality television personality who first gained fame on “The Jersey Shore,” which appeared on the MTV network. Marc Sorrentino is Michael’s brother and manager. 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. 
The conspiracy count carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the filing false tax return counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of three 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.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Larsen, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Evan S. Weitz and Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Newark, as well as Trial Attorney Tino Lisella of the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Defense counsel:

Michael Sorrentino: Richard Sapinski Esq., Newark, N.J.
Marc Sorrentino: Chris Adams Esq., Colts Neck, N.J. 

Sorrentino, Michael and Marc Indictment

Updated August 21, 2015