The former tax preparer for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, one of the stars of the MTV reality TV series “Jersey Shore,” and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, pleaded guilty Wednesday to filing fraudulent tax returns on their behalf.
Gregg Mark, 51, of Spotswood, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Mark, formerly an accountant at a Staten Island-based accounting firm, admitted preparing fraudulent tax returns for the Sorrentinos for tax years 2010 and 2011. During that time the Sorrentinos and their businesses—MPS Enterprises LLC and Situation Nation Inc.—received millions of dollars in income.
To reduce the taxes owed by the Sorrentinos, Mark caused fraudulent business and personal tax returns to be prepared and filed with the IRS. He admitted the Sorrentinos’ false returns defrauded the IRS out of $550,000 to $1.5 million.
On Sept. 24, 2015, a grand jury in Newark returned a seven-count indictment charging the Sorrentinos with conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing false tax returns. Michael Sorrentino was also charged with failing to file a tax return. According to the indictment, the brothers received several million dollars in connection with Michael Sorrentino’s role as a cast member on the MTV television show “Jersey Shore” and other promotional activities. The brothers are charged with failing to report all of the income they received. They are also charged with claiming personal expenses as business expenses, including payments for luxury vehicles, high-end clothing, and making distributions – or direct payments – from the businesses to personal bank accounts. Both have pleaded not guilty; a trial date has not yet been set.
The conspiracy charge to which Mark pleaded guilty carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 24, 2016.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of special agent in charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark as well as Assistant Chief Tino M. Lisella and Trial Attorneys Yael T. Epstein and Jeffrey B. Bender of the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
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