Rapper ‘Fat Joe” admits evading taxes

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Rap star “Fat Joe” faces up to two years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to failing to pay taxes on nearly $3 million in income over two years.

The performer, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, entered the plea in federal court in New Jersey because some of the companies he earns money from are incorporated there.

The 42-year-old Miami Beach, Fla., resident entered pleas to two counts covering years 2007 and 2008 but his sentencing will take into consideration the government’s initial allegation that he failed to pay income taxes for years 2007 through 2010. Federal prosecutors said the total tax loss to the government for those four years was $718,038.

Cartagena lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman said his client “had already taken steps to resolve this situation” before he was charged. He said the rapper hoped to pay back the taxes by the time of his sentencing April 3.

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