As reported in June, Bronx emcee and D.I.T.C. member Fat Joe has been sentenced to four months in prison for the tax evasion he committed over a period of two years and pled guilty of last December. Today (August 5), Fat Joe visited The Breakfast Club and talked about the source of his legal troubles, as well as his prison sentence.
Joe said that his longtime accountant retired on short notice after a family tragedy. Regarding his new accountant and the news of his unpaid bills and taxes, Fat Joe said, “He took over my stuff...I had the guy paying all my bills, so I’m wiring him money every month to pay all my bills, my taxes. I’m asking him if everything is alright. He said, ‘It’s cool,’ this and that, right. He’s doing everything. So one day I go get a car and then I went to get my credit report...so the guy was like, ‘Yo, you sitting down?’ I thought he was joking. He was like, ‘Yo, this shows here that none of your mortgages is paid. None of your cars is paid. None of this.’ So this is how I found out. So I called [my accountant] up and..the next day he paid everything off.”
Given that his period of nonpayment of taxes lasted for two years, Fat Joe and another new accountant eventually approached the IRS themselves. The IRS told him, "'You still owe 60 [thousand],'” Fat Joe said. “So I wrote a check right quick for the $60,000.”
The Terror Squad CEO and founding member said that before penalties, he “wound up spending like [$1.2 million] in the end. And I’m not Jay Z or none of that. And penalties was on top of that. After you pay them off, they hit you with, ‘Surprise!’”
The repayment and penalty fees are obviously not the end of the ordeal, as Fat Joe reconfirmed his four-month prison bid, for which he will report August 26. Despite his upcoming sentence and the large sum he’s paid back, Joe was also in good spirits and found light in the situation. “In the words of Chris Gotti, my good friend, it could be worse,” he said.
Fat Joe is only the latest in a string of rappers to face jail time for tax evasion. Lauryn Hill began her three month prison sentence in Connecticut last month for nonpayment of $1 million and Ja Rule completed a two-year sentence for a gun charge, only to be held longer for an unrelated tax evasion charge earlier this year.
While on the show, Fat Joe also talked about feeling underappreciated by a current crop of emcees and fans for his previous contributions, the mentorship role he played for many artists and his alleged involvement in an altercation with Jay Z alongside Big Pun.