Former Jersey Shore star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother have been indicted for tax crimes for allegedly not properly paying taxes on $8.9 million in income.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, under the Department of Justice, announced Sorrentino’s indictment in a press release mockingly referring to the defendant, a private citizen, as “The Situation” and a “B television personality.”
“B Television personality Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and his brother Marc Sorrentino are expected to appear in federal court this afternoon,” the U.S. Attorney’s press release stated Wednesday, also referring to Sorrentino as “The Situation” in the subject line of the release.
“The pair conspired to fail to pay all federal income tax owed on approximately $8.9 million earned by Michael Sorrentino between 2010 and 2012,” the Attorney’s office stated. “As part of the conspiracy, the brothers submitted or caused to be submitted to the IRS false documents which understated the gross receipts received by the brothers and the two companies. The brothers also submitted false personal tax returns which failed to report all of the income they received, and Michael failed to file a personal tax return in 2011, despite earning $1,995,757 that year.”
“The conspiracy and filing false tax return counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine,” the Attorney’s office stated. “The count charging Michael Sorrentino with failing to file a tax return carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.”
Why did the Department of Justice use a private citizen’s reality-TV nickname in its press release announcing his indictment? Why did DOJ call him a “B television personality”? Why, for that matter, did it send out a press release in the first place bragging that it nabbed a quasi-celebrity?
(FYI: Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder is currently in contempt of Congress for failing to produce documents related to administration gun-running. And he also just did a PSA for Cartoon Network).
The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not immediately provide explanation to The Daily Caller for the mocking tone of its press release, but said that it will provide an explanation over email.
Welcome to our federal criminal justice system…post-Jersey Shore.
UPDATE: In an email to The Daily Caller Wednesday afternoon, the Justice Department claimed that the “B” in “B Television personality” was the result of a technical error.
“It appears the hyphen following the dateline in the email was converted to a ‘B’ on your end. If you look at the press release itself, you will see that there is a hyphen before ‘Television,’ and not a ‘B,'” wrote U.S. Attorney spokeswoman Rebekah Carmichael. “We often use defendants’ aliases in press releases when they are charged as such, as you can see from the caption in the indictment.”
Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly — known for his sympathetic coverage of the Justice Department — was quick to defend the U.S. Attorney’s office on Twitter, despite receiving the same erroneous email.
Reporters from several news outlets indicated on social media that they also received the hyphen-free email.