DMX pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud violation, Us Weekly confirms.
The “Party Up” rapper, 46, whose real name is Earl Simmons, arrived 25 minutes late to appear before a federal Judge in New York City on Thursday, November 30, and will face up to five years in jail for amassing a $1.7 million tax bill that prosecutors say went unpaid.
The New York native was initially charged with 14 counts in July and faced up to 43 years in prison. As part of his plea agreement, he is also required to pay restitution to the IRS.
“Today, Earl Simmons, the actor, producer and recording artist known as DMX, admitted to systematically cheating on his taxes,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said, according to the United States Department of Justice’s website. “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. Today, 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.”
According to the website, DMX concealed his income from the IRS and others by methods including listing his income as “unknown” for 2011 and 2012, and as $10,000 for 2013 when he had earned hundreds of thousands of dollars of income in each of those years.
The recording artist, who recently released a remix of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” is scheduled to be sentenced on March 29, 2018.