Although I enjoy music, my tastes do not go towards rap. So when I read about Joseph Cartagena, aka rap star Fat Joe, I mumbled, “Who?” Well, Mr. Cartagena has earned plenty of money the past four years. In court, he admitted he earned gross income of more than $1.3 million in 2007, more than $1.4 million in 2008, and $over $320,000 in 2009 according to this Department of Justice press release. It seems that the income from his live performances and his royalties didn’t make it on his tax returns.
Mr. Cartagena’s basic problem was that he didn’t file any return for 2007 to 2010. A helpful hint to celebrities: You’re in the public spotlight; make sure you correctly file your returns every year.
Unfortunately for Fat Joe, the IRS discovered the lack of returns. Mr. Cartagena pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to file a tax return. He’s agreed to file all of his back returns and pay all the taxes prior to his sentencing next April. Given that the tax loss to the government is $718,038, Mr. Cartagena may be spending some time in the celebrity wing of ClubFed.