No one knows better than these celebrities not to stand in the way of the tax man. Here are four infamous examples of how your life can be turned upside-down if you don’t have the right tools to properly control your finances.
The Situation As It Stands
The popular “Jersey Shore” television star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was brought up on misdemeanor and felony charges by the United States Government for failing to file a tax return and conspiracy to file a fraudulent return. Apparently The Situation thought that if you make over a million dollars you don’t need to file a tax return or pay taxes. Nope; in fact, it’s the exact opposite. When you make more than a million bucks, the IRS better hear from you, especially when you hide — allegedly — $8.9 million in income. His brother Marc was also allegedly in on it, and is also up on charges. It seems fraud runs in the Sorrentino family. Both are currently out on bail and awaiting trial.
Wesley Gets Sniped
Wesley Snipes was the target of tax fraud and tax evasion allegations by the IRS after not filing tax returns. His not guilty pleas ranged from claims that he didn’t have to pay taxes because he was a non-resident alien, to claiming that the government has no right to tax citizens. Unfortunately, neither of these arguments held weight in court; Snipes was found guilty and sentenced to three years in federal prison, as well as an additional year of probation.
Nicolas’ Manager Was Cagey
Nicolas Cage’s personal fortune was an estimated $100 million. It was obviously enough to buy him 15 million dollar estates, including a castle, a fleet of sports cars and an island. But Cage put his money in the hands of the wrong people and ended up losing millions when his business manager made off with embezzled bucks from the actor. Now, Cage is accepting every script that hits his stoop in a desperate bid to recoup his losses and pay back Uncle Sam. Lucky for him, he’s not sitting in a cell wondering how someone he trusted could dupe him. You wouldn’t think that a celebrity worth millions could be at risk, but that just means no one is completely protected from fraud. Chances are, Nick wishes he’d invested in fraud protection.
Teresa Giudice’s Family Photo Behind Bars
Is it brave or naïve to have a family photo taken while you’re serving time for fraud? That’s debatable, as is Teresa Giudice’s knowledge of her husband’s fraudulent financial reporting that put her behind bars in the first place. If she didn’t know anything — which could be the case, judging by her ditzy negotiating tactics on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2012 — she should receive the Best Wife Award for supporting her cad husband. Either way, a small investment in some type of asset protection would have saved her from prison and the agony of being separated from her daughters.
To clear up any confusion: 1) Tax fraud is a federal offense, 2) Everyone has to pay taxes, and 3) If you lie about your financials, it will not end well.