Rapper DMX arrested on tax fraud charges

Rapper DMX was arrested for tax evasion on Thursday after "engaging in a multi-year scheme" to hide his income and withholding $1.7 million in taxes from earnings, according to the U.S. attorney of the Southern District of New York.

"For years, Earl Simmons, the recording artist and performer known as DMX, made millions from his chart-topping songs, concert performances and television shows," a New York state attorney said in a statement.

"But while raking 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. Far from it, DMX allegedly went out of his way to evade taxes, including by avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in other’s names and paying personal expenses largely in cash."  

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DMX "orchestrated a scheme" to evade payment of his taxes "largely by maintaining a cash lifestyle, avoiding the use of a personal bank account, and using the bank accounts of nominees, including his business managers, to pay personal expenses," acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said.

"Celebrity rapper or not, all Americans must pay their taxes, and together with our partners at the IRS, we will pursue those who deliberately and criminally evade this basic obligation of citizenship," the statement continued. 

Although he earned hundreds of thousands between 2011 and 2013, Simmons claimed his earnings were "unknown" in 2011 and 2012, and said he made $10,000 in 2013, according to the IRS.

The 46-year-old rapper is to appear in Manhattan federal court on Friday.