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The Situation's lawyer wants off Jersey Shore star's tax case

UPDATE, April 7, 2017: Michael Sorrentino is in tax trouble. Again. Mike, or "The Situation" as he was known when he was one of the stars of the MTV hit "Jersey Shore", and his brother Marc were indicted Friday, April 7, 2017, on additional charges of alleged tax evasion. As noted in this post from 2015, the Sorrentino brothers were indicted in 2014 for tax offenses and conspiring to defraud the United States. Under the new charges, Michael now also faces charges of tax evasion and structuring funds to evade currency transaction reports. Marc is now also charged with falsifying records to obstruct a grand jury investigation. You can read more in The Press of Atlantic City's story.

UPDATE, Oct. 5, 2018: Sorrentino was sentenced on this day to eight months in federal prison for tax evasion, after he pleaded guilty this past January with his brother to filing falsified tax returns on nearly $9 million. Sorrentino will also serve two years of supervised release, 500 hours of community service and pay a $10,000 fine.

Yes, it's summer and lots of folks are at the beach. And on many social media sites it's Throwback Thursday.

So it's only fitting that we have new developments in the tax evasion case against Mike Sorrentino, one of the stars of Jersey Shore.

Jersey Shore crew during its hey-day_MTV via FanPop
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, top right, and his Jersey Shore buddies in happier days, circa 2009. Photo courtesy FanPop.

Mike Sorrentino, known as "The Situation" when he starred on MTV's quasi-reality show, has found life off the beach less appealing.

Sorrentino's serious situations: In June 2014, some employees of Sorrentino's Middletown, New Jersey, tanning salon complained that their paychecks bounced. The Situation blamed issues with a change in payroll companies.

Later that month, Mike and his brother Frank had a disagreement at the fake tanning facility, leading to an assault charge and court-ordered anger management sessions for The Situation.

And last February, The Situation saw his tanning salon shuttered -- no, not for tanning tax troubles -- for nonpayment of rent.

Tax troubles top it off: The Sorrentinos did, however, encounter some tax issues. In September 2014, Mike and his other brother Marc were indicted for allegedly filing false personal federal income tax returns.

Marc faces three criminal tax counts, Mike two. The brothers also were indicted on one count each of conspiracy.

Specifically, The Situation is accused of not paying the appropriate taxes on $8.9 million in income.

And things aren't getting any better on the tax front. Mike's tax lawyer, Richard Sapinski, now wants nothing more do with his client or the case.

UPDATE, Aug. 17, 2015: It's official. Sapinski is outta there and The Situation has until mid-October to get a new attorney. The Newark, New Jersey, judge who on Aug. 14 released Sapinski from the case also refused Sorrentino's request for a court-appointed attorney. 

The reason, according to, is that The Situation allegedly is not paying his legal bills.

Earlier legal fee issues: It's not the first time he and his legal advisers have had money disputes. Mike and Marc were sued in July 2014 by the firm Wolfe Law Miami for allegedly not paying $29,175.20 in legal fees for services rendered from 2009 to 2013.

The Florida firm was hired by the brothers in 2009 "to prosecute a number of lawsuits and to handle a number of business transactions," according to court papers.

That fee situation was settled in September, just before Uncle Sam filed the tax evasion charges against the Sorrentino brothers.

Tax attorney troubles: The Situation's tax evasion counselor now says he's also having trouble getting paid.

"To date Mr. Sorrentino has not been able to meet the obligations of the fee agreement and there is no reasonable expectation that he will be able to do so," Sapinski said in his filing with the federal court asking to be released from the case.

"Representation of Mr. Sorrentino has required and will continue to require counsel expend his own funds for disbursements and costs related to preparation and trial," added Sapinski, who is Vice-Chair of the Tax Litigation Practice Group at Sills Cummins & Gross P.C.. "It would be a significant hardship for me and my firm to continue to represent Mr. Sorrentino without any reasonable expectation of payment."

Mike Sorrentino's trial is set to begin on Sept. 14. If convicted, he could face 11 years in prison in addition to the unpaid taxes, plus penalties and interest.

Yep, life definitely is that other five-letter "B" word for The Situation right now.

So that you don't end up in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service or your tax attorney, pay your taxes! If you're bill is bigger than you expected, the IRS offers several payment options that can help keep you out of court … or jail.

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