Fat Joe is headed to prison for tax evasion.  From 2007-08 the rapper, whose real name is Louis Cartagena, failed to pay income taxes on over $1 million of income.  Cartagena plead guilty to the charges in December.

Cartagena said in his defense that “it wasn’t entirely my fault.”  That’s not quite the lyrical ingenuity you expect from the man who made the phrase “lean back” famous.  Personally, I was hoping for something more along the lines of “doing the lock away.”

Here’s the full quote from Fuse:

“I did everything I possibly can to correct the situation.  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.”

Cartagena has paid back what he owes to the IRS and will serve four months in a federal prison in Miami, one year of supervised release, and pay a $15,000 fine; he originally faced a maximum sentence of two years.

Very few people in the U.S. are ever actually convicted of tax crimes – less then one one-thousandth of all taxpayers.  However, around 15 percent of taxpayers either misreport or commit fraud on their tax returns.

High income persons, like Mr. Fat Joe, are much more likely to be audited and charged with tax evasion.  To see some figures on tax fraud and your chances of being audited by the IRS, check out our infographic here.

 

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