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Press Release

Rapper Fat Joe Sentenced To Four Months In Prison For Failing To File Income Tax Returns On Over $3.3 In Taxable Income

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – Joseph Cartagena, the rapper popularly known as “Fat Joe,” was sentenced to four months in prison for failing to file tax returns with the IRS, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Cartagena, 42, of Miami Beach, Fla., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor to Counts One and Two of a four-count information charging him 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, was taken into account for sentencing.

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 $1.18 million in 2007, in excess of $1.28 million in 2008, in excess of $265,000 in 2009, and in excess of $630,000 in 2010. The total tax loss to the government was $718,038.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Waldor sentenced Cartagena to one year of supervised release and fined him $15,000. He must report by Aug. 26, 2013, to begin serving his sentence.

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

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

Updated March 18, 2015