The New Stuff

Ja Rule Sentenced To 28 Months in Prison for Unpaid Tax Debt

NEWARK, N.J. –“Judge rule”—Despite pleas of financial ignorance, a federal court judge sentenced rapper Ja Rule to 28 months in prison Monday for failing to pay Uncle Sam more than $1 million in back taxes.

"I in no way attempted to deceive the government," the 35-year-old performer and movie actor, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, declared in federal court in Newark after apologizing to U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz.

Atkins, of Saddle River, N.J., pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor tax charges.

Before a packed courtroom dressed in his yellow prison jumpsuit and shackled Atkins claimed that his youth and lack of proper financial guidance were the reasons for his failure to file tax returns between 2004 and 2008 for which he earned $4.38 million.

Atkins, who is already serving a two-year sentence in New York for attempted criminal weapon possession, told U.S. Magistrate Shwartz: '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.'

'Things fell on hard times for me (and) kind of spun out of control.'

Under a plea deal, he was allowed to plead guilty to three of five tax counts. The remaining charges were dismissed Monday.

As part of his plea, Atkins promised to pay more than $1.1 million to the Internal Revenue Service.

In rendering her sentence, Shwartz said Atkins was a talented and successful man, "blessed with creativity," who entertained troops in a dangerous arena, took his family obligations seriously, and had spearheaded a program that advocated education over incarceration. She added he had demonstrated sincere contrition and a willingness to make amends.

But she added, "Taxpayers do not have the luxury of deciding whether to comply with laws."

Recently Published


Edgar's episode of 'You're The Worst' is a true American horror story

Edgar from You’re The Worst deserves a solo spinoff called ...


Koala tries its best to cling onto branch in the midst of intense storms

South Australia has had a pretty tumultuous last 24 hours. An ...


Australia is way ahead of the U.S. in banking, but now risks falling behind

The U.S. is objectively behind countries like Australia in digital ...


This might be the most inappropriate shirt ever sold on Walmart's website

We'd all rather be somewhere else sometimes – but those ...


The cancer empathy cards that say more than just 'f**k cancer'

When a loved one has cancer, letting them know that you're there for ...


Teen-friendly app Houseparty comes from an unlikely developer

Meerkat may have helped ignite the livestreaming craze but its ...


Arizona burros confused to see magical green grass for the first time

You know that feeling when you walk into somewhere real fancy and ...


Shocking images of police shooting Aboriginal man swarm social media

A 32-year-old Indigenous man identified by locals on social media as ...


YouTube wants to make nice with the music biz, taps label exec Lyor Cohen

LOS ANGELES — YouTube is mending fences with the music ...