Rapper DMX arrested over $1.7m tax evasion charge

Earl Simmons, who scored No 1 albums in the US as DMX, is accused of a ‘multi-year tax’ evasion scheme, following a string of other criminal offences

The US rapper DMX has been arrested on 14 counts of tax fraud, after being alleged to have concealed millions of dollars in earnings and evaded $1.7m of tax.

DMX, born Earl Simmons, will appear before a judge in New York today following the arrest. As well as being charged over tax evasion and failure to file tax returns, he allegedly concealed his true income, telling a bankruptcy court that his income was unknown for the years 2011 and 2012, and just $10,000 in 2013.

He is accused of “maintaining a cash lifestyle, avoiding the use of a personal bank account, and using the bank accounts of nominees, including his business managers, to pay personal expenses”.

A statement for the justice department described it as a “multi-year scheme”. If found guilty and given the maximum sentence for each count, he would be imprisoned for 44 years.

With his gruff voice and often bleak lyrics, DMX, 46, became one of the most recognisable voices in rap around the turn of the century. In 1998 he released two albums, both of which went to No 1 on the Billboard charts, and later scored a huge hit with club anthem Party Up.

He has had numerous stints in jail for offences including drug and firearm possession, reckless driving, animal cruelty, and failure to pay child support. During one period of jail time in 2010, he was moved to a mental health unit. In 2011 he discussed having a personality disorder: “I used to be really clear about who was what and what each characteristics each personality had, but at this point, I’m not even sure there is a difference.”

Contributor

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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