“The Situation” has a situation.
Reality star Michael Sorrentino, of MTV’s “The Jersey Shore” fame, was indicted Wednesday for improperly paying taxes on nearly $9 million in income, the Internal Revenue Service said.
Sorrentino, known as “The Situation,” was charged with one count of defrauding the United States. He faces an additional count of failing to file a tax return in 2011, and both he and his brother Marc were also charged with three and two counts respectively for filing false tax returns during a period from 2010 to 2012.
“The law is absolutely clear: telling the truth to the IRS is not optional,” U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman said in a statement that is sure to attract the attention of conservatives in Congress who this year held former IRS executive Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify under oath to Congress.
The indictment alleges that the famous television brothers filed false tax returns that improperly reported the millions of dollars they made from promotions and appearances. It also alleges that they claimed costly clothes and cars as business expenses, and moved company money into personal accounts.
“Most individuals file truthful tax returns,” Jonathan Larsen, an agent with the IRS-Criminal Investigation Office in Newark, New Jersey, said in the statement. “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.”
The IRS issued a separate statement from its chief of criminal investigation, Richard Weber, noting that, “Whether you are a reality t.v. star or member of the public, the 'reality' is that everyone must pay their taxes and abide by the same laws.”
The pair is scheduled to be arraigned in Newark federal court on Oct. 6, 2014.