Times have been hard for DMX, and they look like they’re about to get a lot harder. The rapper who was once as big as Jay Z has had his share of issues in the past decade or so, with problems ranging from various arrests to addiction and debt, and he’s seemingly been endlessly saddled with one or the other as he’s tried to get his career back on track. The latest of his legal troubles could land X in prison for up to 44 years as he turned himself into authorities on Thursday night after being charged with 14 counts of tax fraud.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York, X is accused of concealing millions of dollars in income from the IRS to avoid paying a $1.7 million tax bill. The release states that he earned $2.3 million from 2010 to 2015 and never filed taxes, instead choosing to go through great lengths to avoid using his own bank accounts or claim any income, including using the bank accounts of his business managers and keeping cash rather than liquid funds in order to maintain his lifestyle. According to the report, he listed his income as “unknown” for several years and just $10,000 in 2013, and went so far as to refuse to shoot episodes of the VH1 series Celebrity Couples Therapy until he was reissued his $125,000 paycheck, tax-free, which the network eventually did.
In the release, U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim says DMX raked “in millions from his songs, including his 2003 hit ‘X Gon’ Give it to Ya,’ DMX didn’t give any of it to the IRS.” The 14 counts X is charged with include “one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of Internal Revenue Laws, one count of evasion of payment of income taxes, six counts of evasion of assessment of income tax liability, and six counts of failure to file a U.S. individual income tax return.” Cumulatively those counts carry a maximum sentence of 44 years.