Rapper DMX confined to home after breaching bail for tax fraud charges

US rapper DMX has been confined to his suburban New York home after repeatedly breaching bail conditions on tax fraud charges

The rapper – real name Earl Simmons – faces 14 counts of tax fraud including allegations he hid millions of dollars of income from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to avoid paying $1.7m (£1.3m) of tax liabilities.

He pleaded not guilty in his first appearance in court in New York, and after a night in prison posted a $500,000 bond and released. However, district judge Jed Rakoff said the rapper must wear an electronic bracelet and ask his permission at least a week in advance if he wants to travel. 

According to papers presented to the Manhattan federal court in July 2017, Simmons failed to pay tax due on his earning as a recording artist, performer, and actor from 2002 to 2005, when the IRS began efforts to claim the money.

During the period from 2010 to 2015, the documents allege Simmons earned over $2.3m but did not file any personal income tax returns. Instead, ‘he orchestrated a scheme to evade payment of his outstanding tax liabilities, largely by maintaining a cash lifestyle, avoiding the use of a personal bank account, and using the bank accounts of nominees, including his business managers, to pay personal expenses’. 

Simmons is said to have received hundreds of thousands of dollars of royalty income from his music, which he caused to be deposited into the bank accounts of his managers, who then disbursed it to him in cash or used it to pay his personal expenses. 

The rap star also participated in the ‘Celebrity Couples Therapy’ television show in 2011 and 2012 and was paid $125,000 for his participation. When taxes were withheld from the check for the first instalment of that fee by the producer, Simmons refused to tape the remainder of the television show until the check was reissued without withholding taxes.

In addition, the papers allege Simmons took other steps to conceal his income from the IRS and others, including by filing a false affidavit in US Bankruptcy Court that listed his income as ‘unknown’ for 2011 and 2012, and as $10,000 for 2013. In fact, Simmons received hundreds of thousands of dollars of income in each of those years.

Simmons has been contacted for comment.

Calum Fuller |Assistant editor, Accountancy magazine (up to 2018)

Calum Fuller is former assistant editor of Accountancy magazine and Accountancy Daily, published by ...

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