Rapper DMX is expected to be released from prison today, his lawyer claims.
After spending nearly a year behind bars for tax fraud, the 'X Gon Give It To Ya' singer is set to walk free a few days earlier than expected. He was scheduled to be released on 27 January - however, as Vulture reports, inmates are allowed to be released on the Friday if their release date falls on a weekend.
His lawyer Murray Richman told the news site yesterday: "He's coming home tomorrow. I spoke to him; he's very happy. "He's looking forward to being home. He's never been hotter than now - people have been seeking him out all over. Mr Richman added that DMX, real name Earl Simmons, was 'terrific' in jail and didn't become a target because of his celebrity status. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to tax evasion charges where he was accused of a 'multi-year scheme' that allowed him to avoid paying $1.7 million (£1.3 million) in taxes.
According to Vulture, he stayed off authorities' radar for years because he paid for everything in cash, he got other people to pay for things with his money and he even had a bank account that wasn't in his name. "I wasn't following the rules," he said in court.
If he was convicted on every count, the maximum prison sentence he could have received was 44 years. Luckily for him, he only got less than a year. When the charges were filed, acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim released a statement saying: "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."
While IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge James Robnett adds: "While most individuals file truthful tax returns and pay their taxes, the indictment against Mr. Simmons alleges various tax crimes, including that he failed to file personal tax returns for several years and did not pay his fair share of taxes." This is far from his first run-in with law enforcement; he's had legal issues dating as far back as 1998. In the early 2000s, he was charged several times with marijuana and cocaine possession.
Simmons was also arrested in that time for violating parole, animal cruelty, criminal mischief, driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and attempting to carjack a vehicle.
After several more arrests, he was released from jail in 2010, when a TV show was meant to track his road to recovery after battling drug issues. But he was arrested three weeks later and the series never got off the ground.