Ja Rule agreed to pay over $1.1 million in tax debts and IRS penalties after the rapper pleaded guilty to tax evasion Tuesday. Ja—whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins—pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to three counts of failing to file a tax return, from 2004 through 2008, despite earning income from touring and royalties from his albums.
U.S. federal judge Patty Shwartz set Ja Rule’s bail at $500,000 and permitted the Grammy nominated rapper’s release pending sentencing scheduled for June 13. Each count of tax evasion carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. Early June will be a busy time period for Atkins as he was already scheduled to begin a two-year sentence for gun possession in relation to a 2007 arrest on June 8. Between the previous weapon charges and the tax penalties, Ja Rule faces a possible five years in prison.
“Each of us must pay our fair share to keep this country going,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement. Ja is reportedly working on a sequel to his triple-platinum album Pain Is Love in the remaining months before his prison term begins.