NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rapper DMX surrendered to federal authorities Thursday on tax fraud charges, prosecutors announced.
DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, is charged in a multi-year scheme allegedly to conceal millions of dollars in income from the IRS and avoid paying $1.7 million in taxes.
“For years, Earl Simmons, the recording artist and performer known as DMX, made millions from his chart-topping songs, concert performances and television shows. But while raking in millions from his songs, including his 2003 hit ‘X Gon’ Give it to Ya,’ DMX didn’t give any of it to the IRS,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a news release. “Far from it, DMX allegedly went out of his way to evade taxes, including by avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in other’s names and paying personal expenses largely in cash.”
WEB EXTRA: Indictment Against Earl “DMX” Simmons
Prosecutors said DMX made millions from his hip-hop albums – many of which went platinum – beginning in 1997, as well as from concerts and acting roles. From 2002 through 2005, he incurred tax liabilities of $1.7 million and never paid them, prosecutors alleged.
The IRS began efforts to collect the taxes in 2005, prosecutors said.
Between 2010 and 2015, DMX earned more than $2.3 million, but did not file personal income tax returns at any point in those five years, prosecutors said. He instead allegedly orchestrated a scheme to evade payment largely by maintaining a cash-only lifestyle, avoiding using a bank account of his own, and using the bank accounts of others such as business managers for his expenses, prosecutors alleged.
DMX also participated in the “Celebrity Couples Therapy” television show in 2011 and 2012 and was paid $125,000, prosecutors said. When taxes were withheld from his check for the first installment of the fee, he refused to tape the rest of the show until the check was reissued without withholding taxes, prosecutors said.
DMX is also accused of filing a false affidavit in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in which he claimed his income was “unknown” for 2011 and 2012, and $10,000 for 2013, when he actually earned six figures both years, prosecutors said.
DMX, of Yonkers, is charge with 14 tax-related counts. He was set to appear in court on Friday.