"Lean Back" rapper given federal jail time and a $15,000 fine.
After pleading guilty to two counts of federal tax evasion charges in December 2012, Fat Joe was fined $15,000 and sentenced to four months in prison this past Monday (Jun. 24).
The 42-year-old Bronx-born rapper was facing up to two years of jail time. Federal prosecutors said he failed to pay the IRS approximately $700,000 in taxes on earnings of $3.3 million between 2007 and 2010.
The judge, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Waldor, gave him credit for paying back $718,000 prior to sentencing (as he said he would), and for his charitable work. One of the more than 60 letters written on his behalf included one from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, who cited Joe's computer donation to a local school.
In court, Joe apologized to his 6-year-old daughter, who he said was being teased by classmates for having a father who is going to jail. "There was a lot going on in the years that I didn't file my taxes," he said, "but it was my responsibility."
Though Joe lives in Miami, he was prosecuted in New Jersey, where his Terror Squad Productions, Inc. and Miramar Music Touring, Inc. are based.
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(Photo: John Parra/Getty Images)