Ja Rule's Tax Evasion Gets Him 28 More Months in Jail

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 18, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Rapper Ja Rule's tax evasion has landed him 28 months in prison. Ja Rule was sentenced in federal court in New Jersey.

They say that nothing is certain in life besides death and taxes. And, as the IRS' crackdown on Jas Rule for tax evasion illustrates, even celebrities can't dodge paying taxes. 

Unless they want to serve time.

Ja Rule admitted that he had not filed taxes for five years, reports CNN.

This isn't even the first of Ja Rule's legal woes. The rapper, legally named Jeffrey Atkins, had earlier turned himself in after pleading guilty to criminal possession of a weapon, CNN reports.

Ja Rule had been found with a semi-automatic handgun, with its serial number scratched off, in his car in New York last year. The gun charge carries a two-year jail sentence, according to CNN.

Ja Rule's tax evasion sentence can mostly be served concurrently with his current prison sentence for the gun charge.

Ja Rule credits his misfortune with inexperience in dealing with his money, according to the AP. "I didn't know how to deal with these finances, and I didn't have people to guide me, so I made mistakes," Ja Rule said before he was sentenced.

Additionally, the rapper was sentenced to pay $1.1 million in back taxes, the AP reports.

As Ja Rule has probably learned, tax evasion can lead to serious penalties. Knowingly failing to file a tax return may be a crime. In many cases, the IRS does not usually prosecute people who fail to file by mistake. However, ignoring repeated notices from the IRS, combined with failing to file returns for many years in a row, may make any individual a prime target of an IRS prosecution.

Ja Rule's tax evasion may mean that the rapper will be missing from the entertainment world for a while. He was nominated for a best rap album Grammy back in 2002, and has appeared in nearly a dozen movies. Now Ja Rule, sentenced to 28 months, may very well be watching the next Grammy Awards from a jail cell.

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