'Jersey Shore' Star Goes to Prison for Tax Evasion

By Lisa M. Schaffer, Esq. on October 09, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino pleaded guilty to tax evasion and was sentenced to eight months in federal prison, forced to perform 500 hours of community service, and fined $10,000. The "Jersey Shores" star evaded as much as $1.5 million in taxes for failing to report around $9 million earned from public promotional appearances as well as non-monetary earnings, such as luxury cars, clothing, and other business swag.

He had faced a maximum of five years in prison before reaching this plea deal with federal prosecutors. This sentence comes on the heels of his brother's, who received a 24 month sentence for preparing the tax return that The Situation signed.

The Situation Created Quite a Situation

Sorrentino went to great lengths to evade taxes, primarily through the use of setting up a shell company, Situation Nation. Sorrentino didn't file a personal tax return in 2011, but rather went with a corporate filing for Situation Nation Inc., in which he concealed his cash income. In order to evade bank reporting regulations, The Situation made multiple cash deposits in rather low amounts in different bank accounts on the same day, according to his 2017 indictment. It would have been very difficult for Sorrentino to prove that there weren't illegal intentions for these actions.

Other Celebrity Tax Evasion Cases

It's always fun for us "regular people" to see what tax troubles the rich and famous get into. For your reading pleasure, here are three modern favorites:

  1. Keeping it in New Jersey, Joe and Teresa Guidice from "Real Housewives of New Jersey" were indicted on over 40 counts of fraud and tax charges, as well as lying under oath. Ultimately Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in prison and Joe to 41 months. The couple was ordered to pay $414,588 in restitution.
  2. Lil Wayne, the Grammy Award-winning rapper, owes the IRS more than $12 million in back taxes plus penalties for returns posting after 2011 and 2012. He finally paid off the $8 million he had owed prior to 2009 after the IRS threatened to repossess his $11 million estate in Miami.
  3. Wesley Snipes was advised that he didn't have to pay any taxes on $40 million that he made. In fact, he owed $7 million In 2008, He was convicted of three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns and sentenced to three years in prison.

Tax charges are no laughing matter. If you are facing tax fraud or tax evasion charges, contact a local tax attorney at once. A legal advisor who knows the system can minimize your tax bill, penalties, and prison time.

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