Ja Rule Sentenced to 28 Months for Tax Evasion

By Lora Neng
July 18, 2011

Queens rapper Ja Rule appended yet another guilty plea to a chain of admitted federal offenses, resulting in a 28 month prison term. The MC, real name Jeffrey Atkins, pleaded guilty to unpaid taxes on over $3 million in income earned between 2004 to 2006.

The plea agreement allowed for a dismissal of two other counts of tax evasion for income earned in 2007 and 2008, though there was no let up in penalties to pay the back taxes. U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz said, “Taxpayers do not have the luxury of deciding whether to comply with laws” and imposed a $1,137,912 fine. The Monday decision in Newark federal court included a concurrent sentence for an attempted weapon possession guilty plea when police found a loaded gun in Atkins’s luxury car during a speeding stop.

Garnering a gamut of awards from MTV to NAACP, Ja Rule stated that, “If there was anything that I regret, I regret that they [his three children] have to go through this with me, and I’m not going to be there for them.” According to his publicist, Courtney Barnes, his first album in six years is expected to be released “in Septemberish.”

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