Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino was sentenced to eight months in federal prison Friday for cheating on his taxes.
Sorrentino and his brother Marc both pleaded guilty in January in federal court in New Jersey. Marc Sorrentino was also sentenced Friday to two years in prison for his role in the scheme.
According to a federal indictment, Michael Sorrentino aggressively cashed in on his fame from “The Jersey Shore,” which debuted on MTV in 2009. From 2010 through 2012, he and his brother made $8.9 million from endorsements and appearance fees, a partnership in a vodka company, and publication of an autobiography and a comic book starring himself. Much of that income was paid directly to the brothers in cash.
The pair was indicted in 2014 on charges of conspiring with their accountant to evade taxes by underreporting income. According to prosecutors, Michael Sorrentino did not file a federal tax return in 2011, despite earning significant income that year, the indictment states. Marc Sorrentino was also accused of altering company records after receiving a grand jury subpoena.
The accountant, Gregg Marks, was separately charged with helping the brothers to avoid paying $550,000 to $1,500,000 in taxes. He pleaded guilty in 2015.
According to prosecutors, the scheme involved repeatedly making multiple deposits into business accounts on the same day. The amounts were split up and structured in such a way as to avoid the $10,000 reporting requirement. The government also alleged that the brothers claimed improper deductions, commingled business and personal funds, and used business funds to pay for luxury cars and clothing.
Judge Susan D. Wigenton ordered Michael Sorrentino to pay $123,913 in restitution and serve two years of supervised release after his prison term is over. Marc Sorrentino was ordered to serve a year of supervised release and pay a $7,500 fine.