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Tax Trial For Reality Star, 'The Situation,' Set For December

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A judge on Thursday set a trial date in early December in the federal tax case against "Jersey Shore" star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and his brother.

Sorrentino and brother Marc appeared in U.S. District Court for a brief hearing. As they had done at their initial court appearance a month ago, their attorneys entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.

A trial date was set for Dec. 2. Neither Sorrentino commented during the hearing or outside the courthouse afterward.

The arraignment was originally scheduled for Oct. 6 but was postponed because Mike Sorrentino was filming another reality show in Los Angeles. His attorney wrote in a letter to the court that Sorrentino and his fiancee were scheduled to appear on "Marriage Boot Camp."

The brothers were charged last month with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of five years. Prosecutors say they filed bogus tax returns and inflated business expenses to avoid paying taxes on nearly $9 million in income.

WEB EXTRA: Click here to read the indictment (.pdf)

Marc Sorrentino faces three counts of filing false returns from 2010 to 2012, and Mike Sorrentino is charged with two counts, in addition to one count of failing to file taxes for 2011. Prosecutors say the conspiracy ran from early 2010 to late 2013 in Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey.

The false filing counts carry maximum prison sentences of three years, while failure to file carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

"The brothers allegedly also claimed costly clothes and cars as business expenses and funneled company money into personal accounts. The law is absolutely clear: telling the truth to the IRS is not optional," U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

The cast members of "Jersey Shore" were known for their rowdy lifestyle that occasionally led to legal scrapes. In July, "The Situation" agreed to take anger management classes to resolve assault charges stemming from a July 15 fight with his brother at their family's tanning salon in Middletown Township.

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