As we’ve discussed here on our Morristown criminal defense law blog in recent weeks, defendants charged with theft and property crimes are facing long-term consequences but they have important rights and protections under the law. The same is true when facing allegations of white collar crimes — defendants are entitled to a presumption of innocence, although authorities certainly won’t talk about that in the media.
In one recent case, a well-known New Jersey resident stands accused of failing to accurately report more than $8 million to the IRS. Mike Sorrentino, known as “The Situation” to fans of MTV’s hit show “Jersey Shore,” faces charges that his tax returns from 2010 to 2012 contained false information. Officials said he and his brother wrote off personal expenses like cars and clothing and did not report the entirety of their business income.
Sorrentino has pleaded not guilty to tax fraud. Bail for him and his brother was set at $250,000, which they have made and are out pending an early December trial.
Trying to defend oneself against charges of tax or other types of fraud, embezzlement, money laundering and similar white collar crimes can be a challenging prospect. Authorities will have teams of experts poring over financial records for potentially incriminating data that they can spin against a defendant in court. In fact, some of this type of work has likely already been done even before the charges were brought.
These factors may leave defendants feeling as if they’re starting out at a significant disadvantage. A criminal defense professional, however, can play a crucial role in leveling the playing field.