Wu-Tang Clan member [artist id="933"]Method Man[/artist] (born Clifford Smith) was arrested on Monday (October 5) for tax evasion after reportedly failing to pay almost $33,000 in personal income taxes, according to a press release from the district attorney's office in New York's Staten Island.
The rapper, a Staten Island native, turned himself in to police and was later charged with two counts of tax evasion. If found guilty, he could face up to four years in prison. The most serious charge he faces is a felony violation of repeated failure to file personal income and earnings tax. The rapper was also slapped with a misdemeanor failure to pay tax charge.
The rapper turned himself in to the DA's detective squad on his own accord to face the charges. He was investigated after it was discovered he had failed to pay personal taxes dating back to 2004 through 2007, totaling $32,799. The rapper is also on the hook for accrued interest and penalties stemming from the back taxes.
Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said the rapper will be "aggressively investigated and prosecuted" if he's found guilty of the charges.
"Taxes are a burden that all citizens share in a civil society, whether you're an average Joe on the street or a high-profile rap artist," Donovan said in a statement. "Because of the alleged action of people like Mr. Smith, law abiding citizens face higher taxes and reduced government services."
According to the arrest report, Method Man turned himself in just after 8 a.m. and is scheduled to be arraigned later on Monday. No court date has been set yet, as of press time. The rapper has retained Peter Frankel to represent him in the matter.