Ja Rule jailed over tax offences

By | Published on Tuesday 19 July 2011

Ja Rule

A federal judge yesterday jailed Ja Rule for 28 whole months over three misdemeanour charges for failing to file tax returns between 2004 and 2008, a period during which the rap man and actor earned an estimated $4 million. The rapper, real name Jeffrey Atkins, will also have to pay the Internal Revenue Service $1.1 million.

Atkins told the court he was sorry about his shoddy finances, adding he “in no way attempted to deceive the government”. He continued: “I was a young man who made a lot of money. I didn’t actually know how to deal with these finances … [and] I didn’t have the best people [to] guide me”.

But the federal prosecutor argued that Atkins’ accountant had warned him that to fail to pay his taxes was a crime, a point the judge homed in on when sentencing the rapper.

Although 28 months in jail is pretty severe, those paying attention will remember that Atkins is already in prison over a previous weapons charge, and the new sentence will run concurrently with the existing one. The sentence relating to the weapons charge was two years, which means the rapper will only serve four months specifically for the tax crimes, unless – as is expected – his first sentence is reduced based on good behaviour.