Rapper ja rule sentenced to prison for failing to file income tax returns resulting in over $1.1 million in tax losses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – Jeffrey Atkins, the rapper popularly known as “Ja Rule,” was sentenced today to 28 months in prison for failing to file tax returns with the IRS, after admitting that he did not pay his taxes for five years, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Atkins, 35, of Saddle River, N.J., previously entered his guilty plea to three counts of a five-count Information before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz. Judge Shwartz also imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
During the period in question, Atkins was the sole shareholder of ASJA Inc. and Rule Tours Inc. Atkins admitted that during the five tax years from 2004 through 2008, he received music royalty income from ASJA Inc. and music tour and live performance-related income from Rule Tours Inc.
Although Atkins pleaded guilty to charges specifically related to tax years 2004, 2005 and 2006, his sentence took into account the tax loss for all five years, including 2007 and 2008 – a total loss to the government of approximately $1,137, 912. Atkins had also agreed to file true and accurate tax returns and to pay all taxes and penalties owed to the IRS.
In sentencing Atkins, Judge Shwartz stated: “Taxpayers do not have the luxury of deciding whether to comply with laws.” In addition to the prison term, which is to run concurrently with his sentence on unrelated state charges, Judge Shwartz sentenced Atkins to one year of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Victor W. Lessoff, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mack of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Stacey Richman Esq., Bronx, N.Y.