Lawyer for reality star The Situation bows out of tax case
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- A lawyer representing former "Jersey Shore" reality TV show star Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino has withdrawn from a federal tax fraud case against him.
A judge in Newark on Friday gave The Situation until mid-October to get a new attorney and declined his request for a court-appointed attorney.
The Situation and his brother Marc Sorrentino were charged last year with filing bogus tax returns on nearly $9 million and claiming millions of dollars in personal expenses were business expenses. They've pleaded not guilty.
Richard Sapinski, the attorney who represented Michael Sorrentino until Friday, said in an email that he wished his former client well and that "when all the facts come out it will be clear Michael did not criminally violate the tax laws."
Marc Sorrentino has a court-appointed attorney, but the U.S. attorney's office is questioning his eligibility. Prosecutors wrote in a letter to the judge last week that news reports and information online show that Sorrentino is working as a real estate agent in New York with 134 rental listings there.
In a response letter to the judge this week, Sorrentino's lawyer wrote that his client has made one sale and earned $379 in commission. He also wrote that the Sorrentino family's tanning salon in New Jersey is "operating in the red."
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)