Tax Evasion “Fat Joe”

The rap singer known as “Fat Joe” has been sentenced to four months in prison for failing to file income tax returns on more than $3.3 million in taxable income.
Fat Joe

The performer, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, was sentenced Monday in a federal court, in Newark, N.J. Cartagena, 42, of Miami Beach, Fla., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor to two counts of a four-count information charging him with failing to file a tax return for tax years 2007 to 2010. Those two counts correlate to tax years 2007 and 2008. Under the terms of the plea agreement, however, the tax loss for all four years, including 2009 and 2010, was taken into account for sentencing.

Cartagena received income for his musical performances as well as royalties on the sales of his music. The money came from three different sources: Terror Squad Production Inc., Miramar Music Touring Inc., and FJTS Corp. Cartagena owned Terror Squad and Miramar, both of which are corporations based in Somerville, N.J.
Cartagena admitted he received gross income of over $1.18 million in 2007, more than $1.28 million in 2008, over $265,000 in 2009, and more than $630,000 in 2010. The total tax loss to the government was $718,038.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Waldor sentenced Cartagena to one year of supervised release and fined him $15,000. He must report by Aug. 26, 2013, to begin serving his sentence.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited special agents with IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mack of the U.S. Attorney’s Healthcare and Government Fraud Unit.

The singer has previously had other run-ins with the law. In 1998, he and another rapper were arrested on assault charges and accused of hitting another man with a baseball bat and stealing his gold chain. He was also arrested in 2002 for fighting with another man at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Times Square in New York. In addition, he was named as a witness after his bodyguard was arrested in 1994 for shooting a teenager at a Bronx nightclub. He was again named as a witness in 2007 after a double homicide occurred outside a café in South Beach, Fla.