For months now, our tax attorneys in San Jose have been monitoring the case of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and the allegations of tax evasion that have been brought against him.
Last week the Jersey Shore star received a sentence of eight months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to evade taxes. In addition, Sorrentino must serve 24 months of supervised release following the completion of his prison term.
His brother, Marc Sorrentino, with whom he participated in the scheme, was sentenced at the same hearing, but received a two-year prison term with 12 months of supervised release after his prison term commences.
Sorrentino was arrested and indicted with his brother in 2014 on an extended list of tax offenses involving approximately $9,000,000 in income. In January 2018, Sorrentino pleaded guilty to a single count of tax evasion on an estimated $123,000 of personal income.
Sorrentino’s defense attorney, Henry Klingeman, argued that his client was struggling with a severe drug addiction which impaired his thinking and essentially led to his criminal actions regarding the hidden revenue. However, Judge Wigenton stated clearly that she believed many of Sorrentino’s actions were “very conscious,” and that he must take responsibility for his choices.
Although not specifically a tax attorney, Klingeman has handled high profile tax cases in the past. He immediately sought a probation sentence, arguing that prison time is rarely required for the crimes to which Sorrentino pleaded guilty. He also stated that his client had maintained sobriety for a significant length of time, despite a previous addiction to prescription opiates that was quite severe. Klingeman had hoped that a sentence of probation would allow Sorrentino to stay in motion on the right path for a better, more positive life.
Prosecutors on the other hand, pushed hard for the maximum sentence for such crimes, which is 14 months in federal prison, the minimum being the eight months to which Sorrentino was ultimately sentenced.
Attorney Klingeman stated in an interview that both he and Sorrentino were disappointed with the judge’s ruling. However, when speaking to journalists and reporters on the courthouse steps following the sentencing, Klingeman acknowledged that the judge gave specific reasons for opting for the minimum prison sentence in lieu of probation. These reasons seemed largely due to her position that with immense wealth and celebrity comes immense responsibility.
Dressed in a business suit, Sorrentino maintained a rather stoic stance as the sentence was read by Judge Wigenton. Many reporters shouted questions at Sorrentino as he left the courthouse with Lauren Pesce, his fiancée, but he declined to answer and the two quickly left in a black SUV. The 36-year-old reality star must surrender to begin his sentence within 30 to 60 days. This was arranged to allow him time to marry Pesce before serving his prison term.
Previously, Sorrentino stated that he was proud of the fact that he remained clean and sober throughout various projects and filmings after his arrest, and that he plans to attempt to set an example to other celebrities that it is possible to enjoy parties, functions and social events without alcohol or other substances.
He also spoke about his strong desire to help others who are battling addiction in any way possible. Sorrentino and Pesce are expected to be married sometime within the next six weeks, after which Sorrentino will begin his sentence.
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