18th April 2017
Ex-Reality TV star, Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino has found himself in a particularly tight situation with the United States government after having allegedly avoided taxes on millions of dollars’ worth of income. The former star and his brother Marc Sorrentino, reportedly face charges of tax evasion and structuring and falsifying records, according to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
Historic tax evasion
The two men had previously been charged with filing false tax returns and conspiring to defraud the United States in September 2014, but denied the alleged offences. However prosecutors in the US Attorney’s Office now say that the brothers failed to pay income tax on the 8.9 million dollars earned by Mike between 2009 and 2012.
The pair purportedly created businesses – including MPS Entertainment LLC and ‘fashion’ line Situation Nation Inc – to “exploit Michael’s celebrity status” and allegedly claimed that luxury cars, clothing purchases, and personal grooming costs, were essential business expenses, the DoJ said.
According to U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick the pair “filed or caused to be filed … false tax returns that understated gross receipts, claimed fraudulent business deductions, and disguised income payments made to the brothers and to others and underreported net business income.” Court documents also indicate that at one point, Mike Sorrentino made several cash deposits on the same day in several bank accounts in amounts of less than $10,000 allegedly to evade the banks’ IRS reporting requirements.
Crackdown on evaders
The claims against Mike could lead to a prison sentence of up to 15 years, while his brother, who is also charged with falsifying records to obstruct a grand jury investigation, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all of the charges against him.
According to his attorney “Michael Sorrentino will enter a not guilty plea on April 17, and will vigorously contest the allegations in court.”
It’s becoming ever more difficult for individuals, even those in relatively ‘privileged’ positions to avoid prosecution for tax evasion and new, harsher penalties will soon mean there is nowhere for tax evaders to hide. If you’re at all unsure about your status, or that of the contractors you’re placing in unfamiliar regions, then ensure you partner with a specialist before it’s too late.