Ja Rule Sentenced for Tax Evasion

Jul 19, 2011, 07:19 by R.E. Christian

Jeffrey Atkins, the rapper known as Ja Rule, was sentenced Monday in a Newark, N.J., court to 28 months in prison for failing to file federal tax returns.

The sentencing by Judge Patty Shwartz came after the 35-year-old New Jersey resident admitted he did not pay his taxes to the Internal Revenue Service for five years, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman for the District of New Jersey announced.

Although Atkins pleaded guilty to charges specifically related to tax years 2004, 2005 and 2006, his sentence took into account the tax loss for all five years, including 2007 and 2008 -- a total loss to the government of approximately $1,137,912.

Atkins had also agreed to file true and accurate tax returns and to pay all taxes and penalties owed to the IRS, officials said.

"Taxpayers do not have the luxury of deciding whether to comply with laws," Shwartz said at sentencing.

In addition to the prison term, which is to run concurrently with his sentence on unrelated state charges, Shwartz sentenced Atkins to one year of supervised release.

The recording artist began a 2-year prison sentence last month for gun possession in New York.

Atkins was arrested after police found an unlicensed handgun in his vehicle after a concert in 2007.

Source: UPI