YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The rap artist and entrepreneur “Fat Joe” was sentenced today to four months in federal prison, a $15,000 fine, and one year of supervised release for failing to pay taxes on nearly $3 million in income over two years.
The platinum-selling rapper, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, apologized to his family, friends and fans before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Waldor handed down the sentence.
Cartagena, 42, admitted last December that he stiffed the government and later blamed his problems on “fancy guys in bow ties” who were supposed to keep watch over his finances. However, he took responsibility and said he would pay back what he owed.
Although he pleaded guilty for the two years, federal prosecutors said Cartagena actually failed to pay a total of $718,038 from 2007 through 2010 — which Waldor took into account during the sentencing.
Cartagena lives in Miami, Fla., but earned money through companies in New Jersey — Terror Squad Production Inc., Miramar Music Touring Inc. and FJTS Corp.
He remains free on $250,000 bail and must report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on Aug. 26 to begin serving his sentence.
Cartagena admitted he received gross income in excess of $1.18 million in 2007, in excess of $1.28 million in 2008, in excess of $265,000 in 2009, and in excess of $630,000 in 2010.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited special agents with the IRS Criminal Investigation unit with making the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mack of Fishman’s Healthcare and Government Fraud Unit.