Fat Joe entered a guilty plea in a New Jersey federal court Thursday, December 20 to misdemeanor charges stemming from his failure to pay taxes on nearly $3 million of income in the years of 2007 and 2008. Due to the offense, the 42-year-old rapper could face a maximum of two years in prison.
Looking noticeably slimmer in court, Joe whose real name is Joseph Cartagena was initially accused of evading income taxes between the years of 2007 and 2010. The Hip-Hop star allegedly owed the federal government more than $700,000 in tax debts during those four years.
When U.S. Magistrate Cathy Waldor asked him if he understood the charges brought against him, the "What's Luv?" hitmaker said, "I super-understands it." He has been released from police custody after posting $250,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear before judge in April 2013 for sentencing.
Joe's lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman told E! News the rapper had been "working to resolve his issues" even before he knew he was being investigated by IRS. "We have been trying to correct this for almost a year now," the attorney said. "We got his tax returns in order and they have been accepted by the government."
"It's not a happy day," Litchman continued. "I think he is relieved to get the ball rolling and put it behind him. It is not a proud day, but I think he is proud that he has his house in order and is getting it done. He is obviously very stressed about what the future brings, but he is handling it well."