Method Man‘s [click to read] tax woes have escalated into a serious case which could see the rapper serving a substantial amount of jail time. Early Monday morning, the Wu-Tang Clan member, real name Clifford Smith, was arrested in Staten Island after turning himself in on two counts of tax-evasion, having failed to pay almost $33,000 in taxes (not including fees and penalties) from 2004 through 2007. If found guilty of the most serious felony (Repeated Failure to File Personal Income and Earnings Tax), Meth could spend four years in prison.
Staten Island’s District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who is ensuring that the rapper be “aggressively investigated and prosecuted” said in a statement, “Taxes are a burden all citizens share in a civil society, whether you’re an average Joe on the street or a high-profile rap artist. Because of the alleged action of people like Mr. Smith, law abiding citizens face higher taxes and reduced government services.”
This past March, Meth‘s Lincoln Navigator was taken by the IRS for his failure to pay income taxes [click to read]. After the incident, the rapper assured that it was not a lack of money that was stopping him from paying the fees, rather, it was partially his indifference. “I never opened [the tax department’s] letters,” he told NY Daily News in March. “So this is how the tax man came to Meth’s house and took his truck. Not because I was broke! I got plenty of money.”
Method Man is scheduled to be arraigned today, although there is little news about the scheduling of his court date.