Fat Joe’s Federal Tax Evasion Story

Unlike numerous cases of other influential people who tried to evade their taxes, the story of famous ‘Lean Back’ rapper Fat Joe is the story of a man who recognized the problem and set about solving it. He personally approached the IRS and turned himself to the court. In front of a packed courtroom in Newark, he apologized to his family, friends, and fans for failing to pay his income taxes.

In June of 2013, when he was sentenced to four months in prison for tax evasion, Fat Joe was stunned but also remorseful. Famous Grammy-award winning rap artist, whose hits have earned him millions, was sentenced for failing to pay taxes on more than $2 million of income in 2007 and 2008.

“I guess I’m surprised – caused I worked so hard to not end up in court – that I’m here,” the rapper said in federal court. “This is the last place I thought I would be.”

Fat Joe, whose real name is Joe Cartagena, willingly admitted to failing to file federal tax returns in 2007 and 2008. During that time period, he earned nearly 2.46 million dollars, as he stated to U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Waldor. His attorney, however, stated that this was not a case of malice or the privileged looking to evade his tax obligations, ‘rather a story of a financially illiterate man led astray by wayward accountants.’

Initially, Fat Joe was charged with failure to file tax returns for the 2007-2010 period, but the charges were reduced to not filing for two years, after he agreed to a plea bargain.

In the interview for ​Hot New Hip Hop,​ he explained that he had an accountant for 15 years who had to suddenly retire, and who recommended another accountant who soon took over his finances. Unfortunately, the accountant didn’t do his job, which resulted in major tax debts. The damage was done, but Fat Joe was ready to take full responsibility for his actions.

“I did everything I possibly can to correct the situation,” the rapper said in his interview for the Fuse​. “I paid them back. It wasn’t entirely my fault. I had a new accountant for like the last four years. And then you could see that my accountant that worked for me for the 15 years prior to that always paid my stuff on time, always had it on time.”

Lastly, he added, “There was a lot going on in the years that I didn’t file my taxes, but it was my responsibility,” Fat Joe said.

Fat Joe was prosecuted in New Jersey since some of the companies from which he earned money, such as his Somerville-based Terror Squad Production Inc., and Miramar Music Touring Inc., were located in the state. He was also sentenced to one year of supervised release and fined 15,000 dollars.

Now Fat Joe lives with his wife and three kids in Miami, attentive to his financial obligations and devoted to making music and doing charity work for his community.

If you want to read more about celebrity tax evasion stories or need advice from a tax resolution specialist, ​contact Golden Tax Relief today​!

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