Fat Joe Guilty for Tax Evasion, Rapper Faces Prison and Fines

Record producer and rapper known as "Fat Joe" pled guilty to tax evasion and faces up to two years in prison when he is sentenced in April.

The rapper, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, entered his guilty plea Thursday in federal court in Newark regarding his failure to pay income taxes on nearly $3 million which he earned over a period of two years.

The platinum-selling artist, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, was once a Billboard chart topper with hits like the duet "What's Luv" with the R&B singer Ashanti and "Lean Back."

Cartagena entered the plea in Newark because some of his companies are located in New Jersey.

Cartagena brought in about $1.3 million from concerts and music royalties in 2007 and earned roughly the same amount the following year. However, Cartagena never paid federal income tax on his earnings, which is why the IRS was alerted to his situation.

The rapper faces up to two years in prison in addition to a fine of up to $200,000 and any additional penalties that the IRS may levy on the entertainer.

The Miami Beach, Fla., resident understood the charges against him when asked by U.S. Magistrate Cathy Waldor by relying, "I super-understand it," as reported by the Associated Press.

Federal prosecutors revealed that the total tax loss to the government was $718,038, which included 2009 and 2010 as well, but those years were not a part of the rapper's plea.

Cartagena's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, revealed outside of court that his client "had already taken steps to resolve this situation" and hoped to have the matter resolved by the time of his sentencing on April 3.

Cartagena owned the Somerville-based Terror Squad Production Inc. and Miramar Music Touring Inc., according to court papers. The judge set bail at $250,000 and released Cartagena until his sentencing.