DMX has seen brighter days.
The 46-year-old rapper has been arrested and charged for tax fraud, ET can confirm. The “Party Up” singer, whose real name is Earl Simmons, allegedly evaded paying $1.7 million in tax liabilities, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a press release on Thursday.
“For years, Earl Simmons, the recording artist and performer known as DMX, made millions from his chart-topping songs, concert performances and television shows,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim 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.”
“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,” Kim continued.
According to prosecutors, DMX earned money from sources including musical recordings and performances, from 2002 through 2005, and incurred federal income tax liabilities of approximately $1.7 million, which went unpaid. This prompted the IRS to begin collection efforts in 2005.
DMX also allegedly did not file personal income tax returns between 2010 and 2015, in which he reportedly earned over $2.3 million.
“Instead, he orchestrated a scheme to evade payment of his outstanding tax liabilities, 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,” the press release read.
On Friday, DMX plead not guilty to the charges and was released from custody after posting a $500,000 personal recognizance bond, which is secured by $50,000 in cash or property. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
The father of 15 is being indicted on 14 counts, one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of Internal Revenue Laws, one count of evasion of payment of income taxes, six counts of evasion of assessment of income tax liability and six counts of failure to file a U.S. individual income tax return.
This isn’t DMX’s first run-in with the law. In 2013, the rapper filed for bankruptcy citing an inability to pay his child support obligations and was sentenced to six months in jail in July 2015 for unpaid child support, however he was later released in September of that year.