July 20, 2011 (AFP) – Rapper Ja Rule, already serving a two-year prison sentence for illegal gun possession, has been slapped with another 28-month sentence after admitting to not paying taxes for five years.
Ja Rule, who agreed to pay more than $1.1 million in outstanding taxes plus penalties for his 2004-2008 returns, will be allowed to serve the sentences concurrently, effectively adding only five months to his time behind bars.
“Taxpayers do not have the luxury of deciding whether to comply with laws,” Judge Patty Shwartz said at Newark federal court.
Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, pleaded guilty in December to attempted criminal possession of an unregistered, .40 caliber handgun and was sentenced to two years behind bars and 18 months of supervised release.
The 35-year-old rapper was caught with the pistol in his sports car after a 2007 concert in Manhattan, becoming the latest in a long line of rappers to get into trouble for firearms possession.
He had been performing alongside rapper Lil Wayne, who was also charged with gun possession in a separate arrest and spent much of 2010 in prison.
Ja Rule, who has been in prison since June serving time for the gun possession charges, received a Grammy nomination in 2002 for his “Pain is Love” album. He is expected to release “Pain is Love 2” later this year.