Ja Rule dealt second 28-month prison sentence for failing to pay taxes
Ja Rule has been dealt another 28-month prison sentence for failing to pay more than $1 million in taxes.
The 35-year-old rapper is already serving a two-year jail sentence for a weapon possession conviction and the two terms will run concurrently, adding only five months to his time behind bars. Ja Rule will also pay more than $1.1 million in outstanding taxes plus penalties for his 2004-2008 returns, according to the Associated Press.
"I in no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal," Ja Rule told the New Jersey federal court. "I was a young man who made a lot of money - I'm getting a little choked up - I didn't know how to deal with these finances, and I didn't have people to guide me, so I made mistakes."
Ja Rule pleaded guilty to three counts of unfiled taxes and admitted that he hadn't filed taxes in five years.
His attorney, Stacey Richman told the court that her client was a talented high-school dropout who didn't have the business prowess to handle sudden fame and when his business empire began to crumble, he became paralyzed by fear and inaction. She also added that Ja Rule made a point to give back to his community.
The multiplatinum-selling artist could serve as little as 18 months by meeting good behavior requirements and other standards. He told the court, "The longer I'm away, the longer it'll take me to get back to doing what I need to do to actually pay these taxes."
In March, Ja Rule said that he failed to pay taxes on more than $3 million in income.
Ja Rule was taken into custody at a city jail on Wednesday, June 8, to begin his two-year prison sentence for felony charges of criminal possession of a weapon. He will serve the concurrent sentences at the Oneida Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
The rapper's original prison sentence stems from a 2007 arrest. In July of that year, police had said they found a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun in his Maybach sports car following a concert in the city with Lil Wayne, who was detained separately. Ja Rule pleaded guilty at a New York court in December 2010 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
In November, Lil Wayne completed an 8-month prison sentence after reaching a plea deal regarding the same case.
Ja Rule said in a recent interview that it was important to finish his new album before going to prison.
"I just want to put it out to the world before I go in," Ja Rule told The Life Files. "It's funny because, I'm about to go to jail, and my main concern is to make sure that I get this album done and out there for the fans."
Ja Rule spent his last day of freedom in the studio, working on his new albums "The Renaissance Project" and "Pain Is Love 2," which are scheduled for release later this summer. The rapper also made an effort to wrap up his "beef" with 50 Cent.
Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, and 50 Cent have had a long-running feud, which has emerged in their music and recently in a Twitter war, after 50 Cent wrote disparaging things about Ja Rule. But the rapper recently said that he is embarrassed to have engaged in the argument.
Ja Rule is known for songs such as "I'm Real" with Jennifer Lopez and his 2001 album "Pain is Love" was nominated for a Grammy Award. He has also has appeared in films such as "The Fast and the Furious" in 2001 and "Scary Movie 3" in 2003.