Spotswood accountant admits to being in illegal ‘Situation’

SPOTSWOOD — The former tax preparer for television personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother Marc Sorrentino pleaded guilty on Dec. 16 to filing fraudulent tax returns on their behalf.

Gregg Mark, 51, of Spotswood, admitted to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to a statement prepared by U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

Mark, formerly an accountant at a Staten Island, New York-based accounting firm, admitted preparing the fraudulent tax returns for the Sorrentinos for tax years 2010 and 2011 during which time the Sorrentinos and their businesses, MPS Enterprises LLC and Situation Nation Inc., received millions of dollars in income.

To reduce the taxes the Sorrentinos owed, Mark filed fraudulent business and personal tax returns, defrauding the IRS out of $550,000 to $1.5 million, according to the press release.

Mark’s guilty plea carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 24.

On Sept. 24, 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 on the MTV show “Jersey Shore” and other promotional activities.

The brothers are charged with failing to report all of the income they received, according to the press release. 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, but no trial date has been set.