Rapper DMX pleads not guilty to $1.7 million tax evasion

Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella

Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella

UPDATE: July 14: The Associated Press reported that DMX plead not guilty to evading $1.7 million in taxes.

“It’s allowed me to not be scared of the situation and face it head-on ... My life is in God’s hands,” he told reporters.


Rapper DMX has been charged with tax evasion, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said in a news release Thursday.

The 46-year-old musician, known for songs like 1999’s “Party Up  (Up In Here)” and 2003’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya,” has engaged in a “multi-year scheme to conceal millions of dollars of income from the IRS and to avoid paying $1.7 million of tax liabilities,” according to the Department of Justice.

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DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, turned himself into law enforcement Thursday.

“DMX allegedly went out of his way to evade taxes, including by avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in others’ names and paying personal expenses largely in cash,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said. “He even allegedly refused to tape the television show ‘Celebrity Couples Therapy’ until a properly issued check he was issued was reissued without withholding any taxes. Celebrity rapper or not, all Americans must pay their taxes, and together with our partners at the IRS, we will pursue those who deliberately and criminally evade this basic obligation of citizenship.”

Simmons was paid $125,000 for appearing on “Celebrity Couples Therapy” on VH1 from 2011 to 2012.

According to the indictment, DMX listed his gross income as "unknown" in 2011 and 2012 and as $10,000 in 2013. His gross income for each of those years were $353,000, $542,000 and $250,000, respectively.
DMX is being charged with 14 counts. Vulture reported that if he is convicted on all counts and receives the maximum sentence for each, he could spend over 40 years in prison.

A judge will determine the sentence. Simmons will appear Friday in Manhattan federal court before Judge Andrew J. Peck.

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