Michael Sorrentino, a reality star on MTV's hit show, Jersey Shore, has reported to a federal prison near his home to begin serving an eight-month sentence. He was convicted of federal tax evasion after pleading guilty to one count.
According to reports, the star, who is known as "The Situation," engaged in a scheme to cover up some of his multi-million dollar income. He was specifically accused of intentionally making deposits just under the $10,000 threshold in which they get reported to governmental authorities so as to avoid scrutiny of his finances.
In addition to his jail sentence, he owes $123,000 in restitution, and amount that will presumably cover the taxes and penalties he owes.
Two of the star's brothers also faced allegations that they mishandled their income taxes. One of them was accused of submitting tax returns that intentionally understated his income from a business.
The reality star's story only goes to show that those who have risen to a great deal of fame and prosperity, and even those who are local successes, will catch the eye of tax authorities who will not hesitate to pursue even criminal tax evasion penalties.
While not all allegations of tax evasion end with criminal charges, but residents of the greater Chicago area need to be aware that authorities have a range of penalties they can impose on those whom they suspect of tax evasion and also have many ways of detecting impropriety.
Sometimes, authorities can in their zeal confuse innocent or, at worst, imprudent conduct for an intentional effort to illegally avoid paying taxes.
Whether there really is merit to the allegation or not, someone who is accused of tax evasion will likely need legal advice and representation. An experienced attorney with knowledge of the tax laws and experience negotiating with authorities can provide this valuable service.