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DMX Sentenced to One Year for Tax Fraud

By Molly Zilli, Esq. on April 10, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It looks like rapper DMX will have a new conviction to sing about. While it may not be as conventional as rapping about weapons or drug charges, his recent conviction for tax fraud has earned him some new prison time. Now, for the next year, he'll only be able to sing "X Gon' Give it to Ya" and "Where the Hood At" from behind bars.

Years of Tax Evasion

Prosecutors accused DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, of avoiding taxes from 2000 to 2005, and 2010 to 2015. They say he used the bank accounts of managers and other associates to cash checks and hide millions of dollars in earnings.

Although Simmons pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud, he disputed this characterization and agreed that the tax should be paid. His attorneys argued that DMX's difficult childhood left him ill-equipped to handle the responsibility of financial success. They even played part of his song "Slippin" to make their point: "They put me in a situation forcing me to be a man/ When I was just learning to stand without a helping hand."

A Good Man but a Blatant Crime

While the prosecution asked for a five-year prison sentence, sentencing Judge Jed Rakoff gave DMX only one year. He stated Simmons was "a good man" who had committed a "brazen and blatant" crime. Simmons' other prison stays include time for drug possession, failing to pay child support (he has 15 children), dangerous driving, and parole violations.

If you've been accused of a crime, no matter how minor, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to safeguard your rights and interests.

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