Rule number one of musical stardom: pay your taxes. Ja Rule, who's already been off the rap radar while serving a two-year gun-possession bid, was sentenced Monday to another 28 months behind bars for failing to file income tax returns.
The offense, which took place between 2004 and 2006, is the result of youth and lack of guidance, Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, explained during a court appearance in New Jersey yesterday. "I was a young man who made a lot of money. I didn't know how to deal with these finances, and I didn't have people to guide me," he said.
Luckily, most of this new sentence could be served at the same time as his weapon-possession stint thanks to a ruling by U.S. Magistrate Patty Shwartz, but Rule will still be expected to pay the $1.1 million in back taxes that he owes the IRS.
Tax evasion seems to be the Achilles' heel of many celebs, including Wesley Snipes who was sentenced to three years in prison for failing to pay taxes on some $13 million he made between 1999 and 2001; "American Idol" Ruben Studdard, whose failure to pay between 2003 and 2005, the year he won the TV contest, resulted in property liens; and Dionne Warwick whose 11-year default has earned her the title of California's third-biggest tax debt, according to ABC News.