Rapper and actor Ja Rule (Jeffrey Atkins) was sentenced on Monday to a new jail term of 28 months in a case related to evading 1.1 million in taxes.
Before being sentenced, the former Murder Inc. rapper said he had made mistakes as a young man. He said he lacked guidance, and maturity, to handle fame and fortuune, but that he never intended to cheat the government.
I in no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal ... 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.
The new verdict comes a month after he was sentneced to two years in jain in a 2007 case related to unlawful possession of weapons. According to federal judge Patty Shwartz, Ja Rule can serve the two terms concurrently.
But the judge said: Taxpayers do not have the luxury of deciding whether to comply with the laws.
Ja Rule had commented on his tax troubles in April in an MTV program. Let me just clear this up for people who think that Ja Rule doesn't pay taxes: bullsh--, the rapper told MTV News' Sway Calloway. Ja Rule pays plenty of taxes, millions of dollars in taxes. I owed them a little bit more. I had some issues when the whole Murder Inc. thing went down with my accountant, and she had some federal issues with the boys herself for doing some things, so I fell into a few issues there, but it's not an issue like that. That's being taken care of.
He had admitted in March that he failed to pay taxes on more than $3 million that he earned between 2004 and 2006.
Ja Rule, who has sold over 40 million records worldwide, began to taste fame after his asoociation with Cash Money Click and the debut in 1999 with Venni Vetti Vecci and its single Holla Holla.
Ja Rule became a big hit in the 2000s when several of his hits reached the top 20 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Some of the most memorable were Between Me and You, I'm Real (Murder Remix), Always on Time, Mesmerize and Wonderful. He worked along side big industry names like with Jennifer Lopez and Christina Milian, among others.
Ja Rule also had a part-time Hollywood acting carrer and had appeared in The Fast and the Furious, Back in The Day, Just Another Day, and The Cookout.
Besides his tax cases, the rapper had a few other brushes with law. He was sued in 2003 for allegedly punching a man in Canada, but the case was settled out of court. A year later, he was arrested for driving with a suspended license and possessing marijuana. The same year, he was investigated in connection with a fatal shooting outside a nightclub party hosted by him.
Ja Rule was also arrested in 2007 on gun and drug possession charges. Police had stopped his Ja Rule's $250,000-plus Maybach sports car for speeding. while searching the car they found a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun in a rear door.
In this case Ja Rule was sentneced to a two-year jail term after pleading guilty to attempted possession of a weapon. earlier, the court had rejected his claim that the gun was illegally obtained evidence.
Ja Rule is married Aisha Atkins, whom he met in junior high school, and they have a daughter, and two sons.