New York – Lawyers for Michael Cohen, the disgraced former attorney of Donald Trump, unexpectedly introduced DMX into their client’s case. Cohen’s legal team cited the multi-platinum rapper’s sentencing for tax evasion as an example of why their client should avoid time behind bars.
DMX faced up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion in November 2017. In March 2018, he was sentenced to one year behind bars and ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to the IRS.
After Michael Cohen invokes @DMX's tax case to avoid jail time, @mayawiley, @LawProfButler and @chucknicecomic spontaneously quote DMX lines while analyzing the argument in Cohen's sentencing memo on The Beat: pic.twitter.com/X6lhEGnDwv
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) December 5, 2018
Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, making false statements and campaign finance violations in August 2018. Ahead of his sentencing on December 12, his attorneys tried to make a case for how DMX’s tax evasion was more severe yet only resulted in one year in prison.
The portion of the court filing referencing DMX can be read below:
“For example, in United States v. Earl Simmons, the defendant, a recording artist known as ‘DMX,’ engaged in a ‘brazen, multi-year scheme to fraudulently conceal millions of dollars in income . . . and avoid paying $1.7 million in taxes’ by, among other things, (1) ‘[a]rrang[ing] for hundreds of thousands of dollars of musical royalties to be deposited into the bank accounts of his managers, and then had portions of that money disbursed to himself in cash or used to pay personal expenses,’ (2) ‘[r]eceiv[ing] half of concert performance fees into the bank accounts of his managers, who then distributed cash to [him], and then typically receiv[ing] the other half himself in cash,’ (3) demanding payment for his participation in a reality television show without withholding taxes, (4) failing entirely to file personal tax returns during a period when he earned more than $2.3 million, and (5) filing a false personal bankruptcy petition understating his income.”
DMX wasn’t the only Ruff Ryders member to get tangled into Cohen’s defense. Swizz Beatz was also cited as a celebrity who avoided prison by paying six figures in back taxes. Other celebrities referenced in the court documents include Chris Tucker and Willie Nelson.
Cohen recently admitted to lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia. His guilty plea was a major development in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.