DMX has struck a plea deal in his ongoing tax evasion case, but the controversial New York rapper could still end up behind bars.
The seasoned rhymer, born Earl Simmons, pled guilty to one count of tax evasion and is now facing five years in prison, according to TMZ. Initially, he was facing up to 40 years of incarceration.
“Today, Earl Simmons admitted to systematically cheating on his taxes. By insisting to be paid in cash whenever possible and having royalty payments diverted to the accounts of financial surrogates, Simmons concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from the IRS,” said Joon H. Kim, the acting United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Simmons made a choice between ‘Right or Wrong,’ and did the right thing, admitting his guilt, and agreeing to pay his tax liabilities. No matter who you are or whatever fame you may have achieved, the law applies equally to all, and no one is exempt from the shared obligation to pay our taxes.”
X’s attorney Murray Richman also addressed the guilty plea. “He’s of the opinion that he’s guilty because he didn’t properly supervise his own life,” said the lawyer. “He gave the responsibility of paying his taxes to others but he knows it was his responsibility. He’s owning up to it at this particular point.”
In July, DMX was arrested on 14 counts of tax fraud, including tax evasion, failure to file a tax return, and corruptly trying to obstruct and impede the IRS.
Legal troubles continued in August, when he failed four drug tests and was sentenced to house arrest. Weeks later, he entered rehab, where he reportedly made “great progress.”
Sentencing on X’s tax fraud case is scheduled to take place on March 29.