Rapper DMX pleads not guilty to U.S. tax evasion charges

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – Rap artist and Hollywood actor DMX pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal charges that he concealed income from the government for years to avoid paying $1.7 million in taxes.

Wearing a white t-shirt with the word “RAW” on the front, Earl Simmons, 46, whose stage name is DMX, was released on a $500,000 bond after entering the plea in Manhattan federal court. He is expected back in court on Monday for a status conference.

U.S. prosecutors on Thursday unsealed a 14-count indictment accusing Simmons of hiding millions of dollars he earned from hit songs including “X Gon’ Give it to Ya” and “Where the Hood At.”

Simmons faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

Following the hearing, Simmons thanked his fans for their support and told reporters he had come up with some new lyrics after he was taken into custody on Thursday evening.

His bail conditions require Simmons to remain in New York City but his lawyer, Murray Richman, said on Monday he would request permission for Simmons to travel for shows this summer, which include concerts in Philadelphia, Miami and Houston.

Richman told Reuters on Thursday that Simmons was “charged over the failure of others to do what he hired them to do.”

Prosecutors maintain Simmons evaded his tax obligations through a cash-only lifestyle and by depositing royalty checks in the bank accounts of his managers, who then gave him cash or used the money to pay his personal expenses.

The rap star’s prior arrest record includes charges of animal cruelty, reckless driving, drug possession, weapons charges and probation violations. He has had several felony convictions and served prison time in Arizona.

“The length of his record is remarkable,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck said at Friday’s court hearing.

Aside from recording hit songs, often with lyrics rooted in rage and violence, Simmons has starred in such films as the 1998 crime drama “Belly,” the 2000 action movie “Romeo Must Die” and the 2003 heist film “Cradle 2 The Grave.”

Comments  

Government shutdown fizzles on spending, immigration deal in U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – Congress voted yesterday to end a three-day U.S. government shutdown, approving another short-term funding bill as Democrats accepted promises from Republicans for a broad debate later on the future of young illegal immigrants.

Turkey expects swift campaign against U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria

HASSA, Turkey, (Reuters) – Turkey shelled targets in northwest Syria yesterday and said it would swiftly crush U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG fighters in an air and ground offensive on the Afrin region beyond its border.

Maldives ex-leader claims Chinese land grabbing; govt denies

COLOMBO, (Reuters) – Exiled former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, who is fighting for the right to contest a presidential poll this year, said yesterday that land grabbing by China was threatening peace and stability in the Indian Ocean.

EU confirms new sanctions on seven senior Venezuela officials

BRUSSELS/CARACAS, (Reuters) – The European Union on Monday announced new sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials, saying this was an expression of the bloc’s concern with the political crisis under President Nicolas Maduro.

China’s Xinjiang to build “Great Wall” to protect border – governor

BEIJING, (Reuters) – China’s violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang will build a “Great Wall” around its borders to prevent the infiltration of militants from outside the country, state media reported yesterday citing the regional governor.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×