Rap entrepreneur Fat Joe was found guilty of tax evasion today (Dec. 20), with prosecutors charging him for failing to pay taxes on the $3 million in income he earned over two years for performances and music royalties, Yahoo reports.
The multi-million-selling artist, real name is Joseph Cartagena, found fame alongside the likes of Big Pun and Big L in the mid-nineties, but drifted more towards the business-side and more commercial side of rap as the years progressed. The CEO of Terror Squad Entertainment may now see his star burning significantly dimmer than it did in his heyday, but he now faces his toughest challenge of all in keeping it lit: facing off with the federal government.
Joe is facing two counts of tax evasion charges, covering the years 2007 and 2008. He was initially faced with a suit charging him on failing to pay income taxes for the years 2007 through 2010, however the case has since been re-evaluated to just the two years. Federal prosecutors said the total tax loss to the government for those four years was $718,038, with the current charges seeing that amount halved.
Cartagena's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, told reporters outside the federal court in New Jersey that the artist was figuring out a way to resolve the problem before he had been charged, but got caught for time. He went on to say that Joe now hopes to pay back the taxes by the time of his sentencing April 3 next year. He is potentially facing a two years prison spell and a fine of up to $200,000, plus penalties from the Internal Revenue Service, should he be charged to the maximum effect of the law come April.