Ja Rule is sentenced in tax case
Published 18/07/2011 | 16:46
Rapper and actor Ja Rule has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for failing to file income tax returns.
The platinum-selling rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, turned to look at his wife after a judge read the sentence in a New Jersey federal courtroom.
He admitted in March that he failed to pay taxes on more than 3 million dollars that he earned between 2004 and 2006 while he lived in Saddle River.
Ja Rule was sentenced in New York last month to up to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to attempted criminal weapon possession. The case stemmed from a gun found in his car in 2007.
The majority of the sentences will be served at the same time.
Wearing a bright yellow prison jumpsuit and handcuffed at the wrists, Ja Rule said a combination of youthful inexperience, bad advice and an inability to manage fame and fortune lead to his financial troubles.
"I in no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal," he said minutes before being sentenced.
"I was a young man who made a lot of money - I'm getting a little choked up - I didn't know how to deal with these finances, and I didn't have people to guide me, so I made mistakes."
Depending on his release date for his New York sentence, Ja Rule could serve from four to 12 months of the federal sentence. The federal time will be served at the Oneida Correctional Facility in upstate New York, where he is serving the state sentence. He has also been ordered to pay 1.1 million US dollars (£687,000) in unpaid taxes.
Ja Rule's wife declined to comment after the hearing, saying only that it was a stressful time.