DMX was arrested on Thursday and charged with evading taxes. DMX, born Earl Simons, allegedly concealed millions of dollars in income to avoid paying $1.7 million in taxes. Despite what you’ve heard, X is not gon give it to you if you are the IRS. In total, DMX has been charged with 14 counts of tax evasion. The charges include one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of Internal Revenue Laws, one count of evasion of payment of income taxes, six counts of evasion of assessment of income tax liability, and six counts of failure to file a U.S. individual income tax return. If convicted on all of them he faces a 44-year prison sentence. The legendary rapper has been under federal investigation for tax evasion since at least last year.
A release issued along with the indictment by the U.S. Attorney’s Office claimed DMX evaded taxes by setting up accounts in others’ names and paying personal expenses largely in cash (a fairly widespread practice in hip-hop circles and far beyond). The charges specifically mentioned that for VH1’s “Celebrity Couples Therapy,” DMX refused to accept a payment check until it was issued without withholding any taxes.
The release also claimed DMX took other steps to conceal his income from the IRS, including by filing a false affidavit in U.S. Bankruptcy Court that listed his income as “unknown” for 2011 and 2012 and as $10,000 for 2013. The federal charges claim that the rapper received hundreds of thousands of dollars of income in each of those years.
The charges also allege that between 2010-15, DMX earned more than $2.3 million. It also claims he received hundreds of thousands of dollars of royalty income from his music recordings, which were deposited into the bank accounts of his managers who “disbursed it to him in cash or used it to pay his personal expenses.”
DMX was charged with tax fraud by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and a special agent from the Internal Revenue Service. The “Party Up” rapper surrendered to law enforcement agents and will appear in Manhattan federal court before United States Judge Andrew J. Peck on Friday.
This does not bode well for DMX who already has an extensive rap sheet that includes arrests for DUI, drug possession, theft, animal cruelty, aggravated assault, failure to pay child support, possession of a weapon, and probation violations. Plus the government doesn’t play when it comes to people, even famous people, owing them money. Celebrities such as Pete Rose, Richard Prior, Lauryn Hill, Chuck Berry, Wesley Snipes, Ja Rule, Darryl Strawberry, Fat Joe, Beanie Sigel have all gone to jail for tax evasion. DMX, do you have anything you’d like to say to defend yourself against these accusations? “GGGRRRR-ARRF!” Well said. Well said indeed.