Imprisoned rapper Ja Rule is now in double trouble after being sentenced on Monday, July 18, to serve 28 months in prison to run concurrently with his existing sentence for failing to file tax returns on $3 million worth of income.
According to Billboard, just minutes after Rule was sentenced in a New Jersey federal court, the rapper explained that he never intended to evade his taxes, blaming his tax mistakes on inexperience and naiveté.
“I in no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal,” he said. “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.”
In March, Rule pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion after failing to pay taxes on $3 million in income that he earned from 2004 to 2006. The government estimated that the multiplatinum-selling rapper owes a total of $1.1 million in taxes for those three years.
Last month, Rule was sentenced in New York City to up to two years in prison at the Oneida Correctional Facility in upstate New York after pleading guilty to criminal gun possession charges in December 2010.
On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Patty Shwartz in Newark ruled that the Murder Inc rapper would serve out most of his 28-month federal sentence concurrently with his New York sentence.
Regardless of whether his New York sentence ends early (Rule has been sentenced to 18 months minimum), Rule must spend 28 months in prison, serving out the remainder of his time for the federal case in the same facility, barring an early release for good behavior.
According to ‘MTV News‘, Rule’s attorney, Stacy Richman, was pleased with the ruling, explaing that she was glad that Rule’ civic works and business naiveté weren’t overshadowed by his negative 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,”
When asking for leniency from the judge, Rule explained that, above all, he wants to get back to his career and once again, become a contributing, law abiding citizen.
“My business is very out of sight, out of mind,'” he told the judge. “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.” –nicholas robinson