Rapper DMX is ready to P-A-Y up.
The performer, whose real name is Earl Simmons, agreed Thursday to plead guilty to a single count of evading taxes instead of going to trial on the 14 counts he was charged with, officials said.
The compromise reduces Simmons possible time in jail from 43 to five years in jail, based on sentencing guidelines.
Prosecutors had charged the “Ruff Ryders Anthem” performer with a “multi-year scheme to conceal millions of dollars” from the IRS for his alleged failure to file personal tax returns for several years.
DMX sold millions of records between 2002 and 2005, enough to amass a $ 1.7 million tax bill.
“By insisting to be paid in cash whenever possible and having royalty payments diverted to the accounts of financial surrogates, Simmons concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from the IRS,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a statement.
Kim even sat in the back of the courtroom for a portion of the proceeding.
“No matter who you are or whatever fame you may have achieved, the law applies equally to all, and no one is exempt from the shared obligation to pay our taxes,” Kim said.
Authorities said Simmons, 46, maintained a “cash lifestyle,” avoiding the use of a personal bank account and using the bank accounts of others including his business managers to pay personal expenses.
In 2011 and 2012, Simmons participated in the “Celebrity Couples Therapy” television show, and was paid $ 125,000 for his participation.
When taxes were withheld from the check for the first installment of that fee by the producer, Simmons refused to tape the remainder of the television show until the check was reissued without withholding taxes.
Simmons showed up 25 minutes late for the court session, but was spared a reprimand from the judge.
Simmons faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. As part of his plea agreement, he is also required to pay restitution to the IRS.
Sentencing was scheduled for March 29.
“He faced his responsibility, and he stood to it,” said Simmons’ lawyer, Murray Richman. “I have a great fondness for Earl. I’ve been representing him for 25 years.”