Queens rapper Ja Rule pleaded guilty to tax evasion in federal court in New Jersey on Tuesday, admitting that he had failed to pay taxes on more than $4 million in income.
According to the Associated Press, the platinum-selling MC (born Jeffrey Atkins) earned the money between 2004 and 2006 while he lived in an upscale northern New Jersey enclave.
The plea deal included an agreement by prosecutors to dismiss two counts of unpaid taxes on income earned in 2007 and 2008. Rule, 35, will be sentenced on the three remaining tax evasion charges in June and faces up to one year in prison and $100,000 in fines on each count.
Ja Rule pleaded guilty to attempted gun possession in December, stemming from a July 2007 arrest, but his prison sentencing was delayed earlier this month so he could get his finances in order. Lil Wayne, who Ja Rule performed with on that July night at the Cash Money star’s Beacon Theater show, was arrested on the same night and eventually served eight months in prison for the same offense. Rule is now slated to be sentenced on June 8 and has agreed to a two-year prison term in that case.
At the time of the sentencing postponement, Rule’s lawyer said the delay would allow her client to resolve his tax issue and maybe work on his next musical project as well. “We want to finish the album, and there’s also a tax issue,” lawyer Stacey Richman said. “Somebody, an accountant, had filed an incorrect form, and this is to correct what was done in the past.”