NEWARK, N.J. — One of the stars of the “Jersey Shore” reality TV show has pleaded guilty to cheating on his taxes.
Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino appeared in federal court in Newark on Friday with his brother, Marc, who also pleaded guilty.
They were charged in 2014 and again last year with multiple counts related to nearly $9 million in income from the show, which ran from 2009 to 2012.
Michael Sorrentino on Friday pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion for deliberately concealing some of his income in 2011 by making cash deposits in amounts of less than $10,000 so they wouldn’t trigger federal reporting requirements.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in late April. The judge granted him permission to go to Miami for the upcoming “Jersey Shore” reunion show.
Michael Sorrentino faces up to 15 years in prison, and his brother faces up to 25 years behind bars.
They had pleaded not guilty, but wrote a letter to the judge this week stating they wanted to change their pleas. Their trial was scheduled to begin next month.
The brothers initially were charged with filing bogus tax returns on income earned between 2010 and 2012, mostly through two companies they controlled, MPS Entertainment and Situation Nation.
They allegedly filed false documents that understated the income from the businesses as well as their personal income. Michael Sorrentino also was charged with failing to file taxes for 2011, a year in which he earned nearly $2 million.
Both brothers were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which is punishable by a maximum potential prison sentence of five years upon conviction. Both also faced counts of filing false returns, each of which carries a maximum three-year sentence.
The U.S. attorney’s office filed additional charges last April, including tax evasion, structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting requirements and falsifying records.
“The Situation” appeared on all six seasons of the MTV reality show, which followed the lives of rowdy housemates in a New Jersey beach town. They were known for their drunken antics and the phrase they used to describe their lifestyle: “gym, tan, laundry.”
Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie criticized the show for promoting stereotypes, and last year signed a bill capping the amount of state money universities can pay for speakers, after Rutgers University paid “Jersey Shore” cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi $32,000 in 2011.