Rapper DMX pleads guilty to tax fraud, faces 5 years in prison

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David Novarro reports on the rapper, who now faces up to 5 years in prison. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

Rapper DMX pleaded guilty to federal tax fraud in New York Thursday and faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced.

The rapper, whose given name is Earl Simmons, owes $1.7 million in taxes and engaged in a multi-year scheme to conceal millions of dollars of income from the Internal Revenue Service.

Prosecutors say Simmons raked in millions from his songs, including the 2003 hit "X Gon' Give it to Ya," and avoided paying taxes by setting up accounts in other's names and paying personal expenses largely in cash.

"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," acting US Attorney Joon Kim said. "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."

The 46-year-old Yonkers native was arrested in July. In 2015, Simmons spent more than two months in a New York jail for failing to pay child support.

Simmons faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison when he is sentenced on March 29, 2018. As part of his plea agreement, he is also required to pay restitution to the IRS.

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entertainmentdmxtaxesarrestNew York City
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