DMX pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion charges in New York on Thursday (Nov. 30), according to ABC News.
Prosecutors accused X, whose real name is Earl Simmons, engaging in a multi-year scheme to avoid paying taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. They alleged that the former Ruff Ryders rapper set up accounts in other's names and paid personal expenses mostly in cash.
"Today, Earl Simmons admitted to systematically cheating on his taxes. By insisting to be paid in cash whenever possible and having royalty payments diverted to the accounts financial surrogates, Simmons concealed hundreds thousands dollars income from the IRS," Joon H. Kim, the acting United States attorney for the Southern District New York, said today. "Simmons made a choice between ‘Right or Wrong,’ and did the right thing, admitting his guilt, and agreeing to pay his tax liabilities. No matter who you are or whatever fame you may have achieved, the law applies equally to all, and no one is exempt from the shared obligation to pay our taxes."
DMX was initially charged with 14 counts tax fraud when he was arrested back in July. Prosecutors said he amassed a tax bill $1.7 million from 2002 to 2005 that went unpaid.
"He’s the opinion that he’s guilty because he didn’t properly supervise his own life," said the rapper's defense attorney, Murray Richman. "He gave the responsibility paying his taxes to others but he knows it was his responsibility. He’s owning up to it at this particular point.”
DMX faces a maximum sentence five years in prison when he is sentenced on March 29, 2018. As part his plea agreement, he is also required to pay restitution to the IRS.