The rapper, DMX, entered a not guilty plea to 14 charges of tax fraud on Friday, July 14 in a New York federal court. He spent the previous night in jail, after which he posted a $500,000 bond, and was set free. He was due back in court the next Monday, and could spend a maximum of 44 years in jail.
According to prosecutors, the rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, engaged in tax avoidance of $1.7 million in taxes between 2002 and 2005, a time period that marked the height of his career. The indictment states that DMX made an effort to evade taxes by avoiding the use of personal bank accounts, establishing accounts in the names of other people, and using cash to pay a sizable portion of his personal expenses.
Between 2010 and 2015, Simmons had earnings in excess of $2.3 million. However, he did not file personal income tax returns during that time frame. He purposely avoided the payment of taxes. For instance, he received hundreds of thousands of dollars of royalty income from his music recordings. In order to conceal such income, he had the funds deposited into the bank accounts of his managers, who then gave him the money in cash or used it to finance his personal expenses.
Simmons also faces charges of neglecting to file tax returns from 2010 to 2015, and with filing a false affidavit in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. According to the bail agreement, he is restricted to the New York City area. However, his attorney said that he would ask that Simmons be allowed to travel to give performances this summer.
If you are confronting charges of tax fraud or tax evasion, call the criminal defense attorneys at Brill Legal Group. They are very experienced attorneys who can offer you legal advice aimed at protecting your rights.