DMX Can’t Beat the Rap, Gets 1 Year for Tax Fraud

DMX Can’t Beat the Rap, Gets 1 Year for Tax Fraud
Rapper DMX performs at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois on July 23, 2017. (Streeter Lecka/BIG3/Getty Images)

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A federal judge sentenced rapper DMX to one year in prison for failing to pay $1.7 million he owed in taxes.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff sentenced the popular performer at a hearing on March 28, where he allowed DMX to play one of his songs before handing down a ruling.

Earl Simmons, better known by his stage name, DMX, was charged with tax evasion in July 2017, and pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud in November.

Prosecutors with the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York accused the musician of participating in a “multi-year scheme to conceal millions of dollars of income from the IRS and to avoid paying $1.7 million of tax liabilities,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of five years, Fox News reported, citing the rappers prior criminal history and history of drug use.

According to InvestorPlace, DMX has in the past been charged with weapons violations, animal cruelty, and drug-related crimes, and other offenses.

Rapper DMX performs at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois on July 23, 2017. (Streeter Lecka/BIG3/Getty Images)
Rapper DMX performs at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois on July 23, 2017. (Streeter Lecka/BIG3/Getty Images)

The indictment claimed that DMX sent his royalty checks to the accounts of his managers to hide the income. His managers deducted their fees, and gave back the rest in cash, which he did not report as income, Fox reported.

Another tactic he used was having his managers collect half a performance fee before the show, and then personally collect the other half in cash the night of the show. The cash was again not reported.

One of DMX’s lawyers, Murray Richman, told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff that his client had grown up in the worst possible circumstances, living dirt-poor in a violent ghetto where he was subject to extreme physical abuse.

Hip-hop recording artist Earl Simmons, aka DMX leaves the U.S. District Court in New York City with his attorney Murray Richman (R) after being arraigned, July 14, 2017. (Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images)
Hip-hop recording artist Earl Simmons, aka DMX leaves the U.S. District Court in New York City with his attorney Murray Richman (R) after being arraigned, July 14, 2017. (Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images)

In an effort to more fully communicate the conditions of his upbringing, DMX—with the judge’s permission—played one of his songs, “Slippin’.”

According to InvestorPlace, the lyrics describe how DMX grew up in group homes, which almost guaranteed that he would live a violent life and end up in and out of jail.

Attorney Murray Richman pleaded for leniency, noting that his client had been a model prisoner since being jailed in January for not meeting drug-testing requirements which were part of his bail agreement.

Richman also explained to the judge that the rap star would be better off on the outside and generating income, both to pay off the $2.3 restitution fee included in the sentence, and to provide support for the rapper’s 15 children.

 

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