“Jersey Shore” star Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino was sentenced by a federal judge Friday to eight months in prison.
The reality star and his brother Marc were indicted in September 2014 for filing false tax returns and evading taxes on nearly $9 million of income Michael earned between 2010 and 2012.
Marc Sorrentino was sentenced on Friday to two years in a federal prison for his role in the scheme.
The pair were initially indicted in 2014, but the Justice Department added new charges last year. All told, the two were charged with tax evasion and structuring funds to evade currency transaction reports.
Ultimately, Mike Sorrentino pleaded guilty to in January to one count of tax evasion while Marc pleaded guilty to aiding in the preparation of a false tax return.
Mike shot to fame in 2009 as star of the “Jersey Shore,” a reality show about the lives of eight people spending the summer at Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
He and his brother turned that fame into a cottage industry, according to the indictment. The two ran a clothing business, published a comic book and earned money endorsing everything from vitamins to sunglasses. Mike charged between $1,500 for $48,000 for personal appearances, the indictment said.
Authorities said Mike failed to pay taxes on $8.9 million of that income. They said he did not file a personal tax return in 2011, instead concealing his income by filing a false corporate return for a company he formed.
Mike was also accused of trying to evade bank reporting regulations by making deposits of less than $10,000 into different bank accounts. Banks are required to file reports with the U.S. Treasury for cash deposits exceeding $10,000.
“Lying to and defrauding the federal government is a very serious crime, regardless of a defendant’s celebrity status,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman said in a statement. “The Sorrentino brothers chose to use Michael’s fame to benefit themselves at the expense of the American taxpayer, and with the help of our federal partners, they were held accountable.”
In addition to the prison time, Mike will serve two years of supervised release and pay $123,913 in restitution and a criminal fine of $10,000. Marc will serve one year of supervised release and pay a criminal fine of $7,500, the Justice Department said.
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