White-Collar Crime

Celebrity Lawyer Put Lifestyle Before IRS, Gets 1 Year and 1 Day in Tax Case

Michael “Mickey” Sherman was making good money as a celebrity criminal defense lawyer. But not enough to pay for both the lavish lifestyle he and his family live as well as his income tax.

So he put his living expenses first and let the unpaid taxes balloon to as much as $1 million, reports Greenwich Time.

Today, after pleading guilty in June to failing to pay a little over $420,000 in taxes from 2001 and 2002, the almost 40-year Connecticut practitioner was sentenced by a federal judge in Bridgeport to a year and a day of incarceration. He was making between $800,000 and $1 million at the time he wasn’t giving the Internal Revenue Service its due, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Jongbloed.

The IRS reportedly plans to pursue him civilly for the rest of the unpaid taxes.

Sherman never tried to conceal his income and filed required returns. His only failing was not paying the tax that was due, according to Greenwich Time and the Associated Press.

Sherman’s guilty plea in June was to two misdemeanor counts of tax evasion, so he may be able to continue to practice after he is released, according to a Connecticut Post article published earlier this year.

“Mickey enjoys a loyal following and intends to continue to vigorously represent clients and protect their legal rights,” said Sherman’s defense lawyer, William Dow III, at the time of his guilty plea. “If I had a nickel for every time someone in the U.S. failed to pay their taxes, I could put all my children through graduate rather than just undergraduate school, which is already killing me.”

As detailed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, Sherman’s former partner, Joseph Richichi, got a 16-month sentence and gave up his law license concerning his own similar tax case.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Celebrity Lawyer Didn’t Timely Pay $400K in Taxes, But Hopes to Keep Law License & Avoid Prison”

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.