Fat Joe was sentenced to four months in prison and fined $15,000 for failing to pay his taxes, the US Attorney’s Office in Newark said Monday.
The 42-year-old, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, was also sentenced to one year of supervised release and must report to prison by August 26.
Fat Joe pleaded guilty in December to failing to pay taxes on more than $1 million of income earned between 2007 and 2008. However, federal prosecutors said that Fat Joe failed to pay about $700,000 in taxes on earnings of $3.3 million between 2007 and 2010.
The rapper, who lives in Miami Beach, was prosecuted in New Jersey because some of the companies from which he earns income are incorporated in the state, including Terror Squad Production Inc. and Miramar Music Touring Inc.
“I did everything I could to achieve what I could, to move my family; I tried to stay positive, focus on the positive, and get myself out,” the South Bronx rapper said. “I guess I’m surprised, caused I worked so hard to not end up in court, that I’m here. This is the last place I thought I would be.”
Defense Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said his client liquidated his retirement account in order to start paying back the money he owed.
Fat Joe isn’t the only musician to get in trouble for failing to pay taxes in New Jersey. Last month, Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in prison for failing to pay about $1 million in taxes over the last decade. She was also sentenced to three additional months of home confinement.
Hill was initially supposed to be sentenced in April, but the sentencing was postponed by two weeks in order to give the 37-year-old former Fugees member time to pay. She released her first new single in three years, “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix), after signing a deal with Sony for her second studio album.
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