News and Press Releases

Rapper fat joe pleads guilty to failing to file income tax returns on over $3.7m in income

December 20, 2012


NEWARK, N.J. – Joseph Cartagena, the rapper popularly known as “Fat Joe,” pleaded guilty today to two counts of failing to file tax returns with the IRS, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Cartagena, 42, of Miami Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor to Counts One and Two of a four-count Information that charged Cartagena with failing to file a tax return for tax years 2007 to 2010. Those two counts correlate to tax years 2007 and 2008. Under the terms of the plea agreement, however, the tax loss for all four years, including 2009 and 2010, will be taken into account at sentencing, which Judge Waldor scheduled for April 3, 2013.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Cartagena received income for his musical performances as well as royalties on the sales of his music. These monies came from three different sources: Terror Squad Production Inc. (“Terror Squad”), Miramar Music Touring Inc. (“Miramar”), and FJTS Corp. Cartagena owned Terror Squad and Miramar, both of which are corporations based in Somerville, N.J.

Cartagena admitted he received gross income in excess of $1.3 million in 2007, in excess of $1.4 million in 2008, in excess of $320,000 in 2009, and in excess of $680,000 in 2010. The total tax loss to the government was $718,038.

Judge Waldor set bail at $250,000 and permitted Cartagena’s release pending sentencing. Cartagena faces a maximum potential sentence of two years in prison and a fine of $200,000, in addition to the costs of prosecution. Cartagena has further agreed to file true and accurate tax returns and to pay to the IRS all taxes and penalties owed.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mack of the U.S. Attorney’s Healthcare and Government Fraud Unit.


Defense counsel: Jeffrey Lichtman Esq., New York

Cartagena, Joseph Information

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Justice 101
Community Outreach

Giving Back to the Community through a variety of venues & initatives.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Civil Rights Enforcement

Oficinas de los Fiscales de Estados Unidos En Español