MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ Star Imprisoned for Tax Evasion

By - October 8, 2018
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The star of MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore,’ Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, has been sent to federal prison for tax evasion. The reality star was in New Jersey federal court last week and given an eight-month prison sentence, as well as two years of supervised release. He also will need to pay a fine of $10,000 in the next 30 days and do 500 hours of community service.

Sorrentino was the star of the MTV series from 20098 to 2012, and he recently appeared in the spinoff of the show called ‘Jersey Shore Family Vacation.’

Earlier this year, Sorrentino pleaded guilty to tax evasion and hiding income, related to a 2014 federal indictment for falsifying his business and personal tax returns from 2010 to 2012. His brother Marc also was sentenced; he got two years in prison and a $75,000 fine.

The US Attorney on the case charged both brothers for filing fake tax returns and not properly reported more than $8 million in income. Mike Sorrentino allegedly did not pay any income taxes in 2011, even though he made at least $2 million that year.

In pre-sentencing memos, the attorney for Mike Sorrentino argued that his client should get probation; he said the MTV star had a minor role in the conspiracy and has worked to overcome drug abuse since he was arrested. But prosecutors said that he should get 14 months in prison. They argued that prison time would send a message that tax evasion gets people real punishment. He also noted that Sorrentino’s substance abuse did not stop him from doing structured cash deposits to avoid US government scrutiny.

Sorrentino’s sentence came only a day after he celebrated nearly three years of being sober. As many of his fans remember, he became famous by partying hard on the show. But by the time the series stopped filming in 2012, the native New Jersey had a serious prescription painkiller addiction.

Six years later and after going into rehab twice, Sorrentino told the media that he has worked hard to turn his life around and to be a better person. He said he was able to get clean and did everything he could to make himself a better person.

He reemerged into the national eye this year to film the sequel to Jersey Shore which is now in its second season. Sorrentino noted that it took him a lot of hard work just to get there. He added that he has a strong foundation for his recovery with over two years sober before he went back on set, but he did have to challenge himself to film an entire season of Jersey Shore and have fun without drinking alcohol. He also said he wanted to show youth that it is possible to have fun without alcohol.

Tax Evasion Case Goes Back Several Years

Since the original Jersey Shore show ended in 2012, Sorrentino had several run-ins with law enforcement. Below is a timeline of Sorrentino’s legal troubles:

  • March 2014: Sorrentino opened his tanning club franchise in Middletown NJ.
  • June 2014: According to TMZ, several of his employees reported to the police that their paychecks were bouncing. Sorrentino claimed this was due to switching payroll companies. The tanning salon issues were not related to his later tax problems.
  • June 17, 2014: Arrested for assault at his tanning salon in Middletown. He told reporters the fight was with brother Frank, and that HR was running the shop improperly. He agreed to start to take anger management classes as part of a plea deal that would downgrade the charges.
  • 2014: Mike and Marc were indicted for filing false tax returns and conspiracy to commit fraud. The federal charging document stated that they did not report any income from their public appearances, and he did not file a tax return at all for 2011. The trial was scheduled to start in 2016 but it was postponed.
  • 2015: The Middletown business was shut down by the landlord, who claimed that Mike owed thousands of dollars in rent. However, Sorrentino tweeted a photo that showed he still had locations open in New Jersey.
  • 18, 2015: Gregg Mark, Sorrentino’s accountant, pleaded guilty to filing fake tax returns in 2010 and 2011. Mark admitted that falsifying the returns defrauded the IRS of up to $1.5 million.
  • April 2017: Both Sorrentinos were indicated on more federal charges for tax evasion and for falsifying records to block a federal investigation. The new charges claimed that the brothers had underreported income, claimed fraudulent deductions and had mixed business and personal income.
  • 19, 2018: Mike Sorrentino pleaded guilty to tax evasion, which Marc pleaded guilty to aiding the filing of a false tax return. Mike also admitted that he hid his income in 2011 by making cash deposits under $10,000 to avoid having to report it. The judge on the case approved Mike’s trip to Florida to film the sequel to Jersey Shore.
  • September 2018: Mike Sorrentino is sentenced to eight months in federal prison.