Fat Joe Starts 4 Month Prison Sentence for Tax Evasion


Rap star “Fat Joe” reported to federal prison in Florida to serve a 4-month sentence for tax evasion.

The performer, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, surrendered Monday at a federal detention center in Miami on Monday, his attorney said.

The Puerto Rican/Cuban rapper, under a plea deal reached last December, admitted to failing to pay more than $1 million in income taxes in 2007 and in 2008 for performance and music royalties.

The 42-year-old Miami Beach resident was charged in New Jersey because some of the companies he earns money from are incorporated in Somerville.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. Magistrate Cathy Waldor sentenced Cartagena to one-year supervised released and fined him $15,000. He initially faced up to two years for the crime.

Cartagena owned the Somerville-based Terror Squad Production Inc. and Miramar Music Touring Inc. He also earned income from FJTS Corp., during the time in question.

The rapper told music magazine Fuse this month he had done everything he could to correct the situation.

“I paid them back. It wasn’t entirely my fault. I had a new accountant for like the last four years. And then you could see that my accountant that worked for me the 15 years prior to that always paid my stuff on time – always had it on time.”

Though still called “Fat Joe,” the rapper is no longer obese. The once 300-piund singer shed more than 100 pounds after seeing several friends die of heart attacks.

Cartagena topped the Billboard charts with the hit “What’s Luv.”

His attorney Jeffrey Lichtman tsaid that the rapper was in positive spirits and looking forward to getting released and back to his family before Christmas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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