As if getting hit with a two-year jail bid wasn’t enough, rapper [artist id=”508987″]Ja Rule[/artist] just got some more time tacked onto his current sentence. On Monday (July 18), Rule (born Jeffrey Atkins) was sentenced to 28 months in prison to run concurrent with his existing sentence for failing to file tax returns with the IRS for more than $1.1 million in taxes.
Rule’s attorney, Stacey Richman, told MTV News she is grateful the court didn’t judge the rapper on his public persona. “We were all very concerned about what the potentials were, and we think that the outcome was very fair and that the court took him into account as an individual, and we appreciate that tremendously,” she said.
In December 2010, Rule pleaded guilty to attempted gun possession stemming from a 2007 arrest. The 35-year old MC turned himself in June 8 to begin the bid, and got hit with the additional time Monday in a New Jersey federal court. The sentence was the result of Ja’s March admission of his failure to file for money earned from 2004 to 2006.
The former Murder Inc. rapper commented on his tax troubles when he appeared on MTV’s “RapFix Live” in April. “Let me just clear this up for people who think that Ja Rule doesn’t pay taxes: bullsh–,” the rapper told MTV News’ Sway Calloway. “Ja Rule pays plenty of taxes, millions of dollars in taxes. I owed them a little bit more. I had some issues when the whole Murder Inc. thing went down with my accountant, and she had some federal issues with the boys herself for doing some things, so I fell into a few issues there, but it’s not an issue like that. That’s being taken care of.”
When handing down the sentence, U.S. Judge Patty Shwartz said, “Taxpayers do not have the luxury of deciding whether to comply with the laws.”
What the added time means for Rule is that, in theory, he will serve a full 28 months regardless whether his current New York state sentence ends early. If the rapper ends up serving the entire 24 months of his current incarceration, he will owe the government the extra four months. However, “good behavior” creates the possibility of a shorter federal sentence.