Ja Rule Released From Prison in Gun Case To Serve Time for Tax Evasion
February 25, 2013
Rapper Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, was recently released from federal prison for illegal gun possession only to be sent into custody for failing to comply with federal tax law.
The Platinum-selling rapper served most of his two year sentence for possessing illegal firearms, and was recently escorted by U.S. Marshals to another institution to serve the remainder of his sentence for tax evasion. The Associated Press noted that the rapper still has time remaining on his 28-month sentence for tax evasion, which ran concurrently with his gun crime. Ja Rule has been in protective custody during this jail stint due to his celebrity status, and may be eligible for transfer to a halfway house after six months in prison, the AP reports.
The rapper currently owes the Internal Revenue Service roughly $1.1 million in back taxes, penalties and interest. Once he is out of prison, he will also face one year of supervised release, the AP said.
Ja Rule plead guilty to illegal gun possession in 2010 after a .40-caliber semi-automatic gun was discovered in his vehicle during a traffic violation. One year later, he also plead guilty for failing to pay nearly $3 million in income taxes between 2004 and 2006.
“I in no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal,” he told the judge, according to the AP. “I was a young man who made a lot of money – I’m getting a little choked up – I didn’t know how to deal with these finances, and I didn’t have people to guide me, so I made mistakes.”
Ja Rule is included with a number of celebrities residing in New Jersey who have been prosecuted for failing to meet their tax law obligations, such as Lauryn Hill and, most recently, Mary J. Blige.