Ja Rule Pleads Guilty to $3M NJ Tax Evasion

Mar 22, 2011, 17:46 by Greg Stacy

Ja Rule, the platinum-selling rapper, has pleaded guilty in a $3 million tax evasion case in New Jersey, Reuters reports.

On Tuesday, Ja Rule entered his guilty plea in a Newark court, admitting that he had failed to pay taxes on more than $3 million in income earned between 2004 and 2006.

Ja Rule has promised to pay more than $1 million in penalties and back taxes, plus penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey. As part of his plea agreement, the government has dropped two counts against him for unpaid taxes on the income that he'd earned for royalties and live tours between 2007 and 2008.

U.S. federal judge Patty Shwartz has set the rapper's bail at $500,000 and permitted his release, pending his sentencing scheduled for June. For each count, Ja Rule faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

"Each of us must pay our fair share to keep this country going," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.

In December Ja Rule was sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to an attempted weapon possession charge resulting from an incident in 2007 when police pulled over his luxury car and found a semi-automatic weapon concealed inside.

"S/o to the Feds very cooperative it's not tax evasion it's failure to file and I'm taking care of it case closed #WINNING lol..." Ja Rule joked on his Twitter page, employing a catchphrase recently made popular by former "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen.

Born Jeffrey Adams, Ja Rule, 35, has enjoyed much success as a rapper. He is known for songs such as "I'm Real" with Jennifer Lopez, and in 2002 he was nominated for best rap album Grammy Award for "Pain is Love." He has also appeared in several films, including "Scary Movie 3" and "The Fast and the Furious".