Sometimes, tax evasion cases will end with a plea agreement being reached, rather than a trial. These agreements generally involve prosecutors promising some form of leniency, such as a dropping of certain charges or a lower sentence recommendation, in exchange for a suspect submitting a guilty plea. Recently, a plea agreement was reached in a criminal tax case involving a man who has a career as a rapper and an actor.
The man was accused of committing tax evasion. The man allegedly failed to pay taxes on over $3 million of income that was earned between 2004 and 2006. This income reportedly included music royalties and live performance earnings. This income was supposedly earned while the man was a resident of New Jersey.
The man faced criminal tax evasion charges in relation to these accusations. Last Tuesday, the man pled guilty to three counts of tax evasion in connection to his alleged failure to pay taxes on the above-mentioned income. In exchange for this plea, the prosecution reportedly plans to drop two other tax evasion counts that the man faced in connection to other income that he allegedly failed to pay taxes on.
The man is expected to receive his sentence for the charges he pled guilty to in June. The man could be given a prison sentence of up to one year for each of the three tax evasion counts.
This case demonstrates how prosecutors sometimes use offers of leniency to try to entice suspects in tax evasion cases to submit a guilty plea and that suspects sometimes take these offers. There are many things that could contribute to a person's decision to take a plea deal, such as a desire to avoid further charges or fear that he or she could face a larger sentence if he or she stood trial and was found guilty.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Ja Rule pleads guilty to $3M tax evasion in NJ," (Article no longer available online) 22 March 2011