When given the opportunity to address the court, Simmons said, “I never went to the level of tax evasion where I’d sit down and plot ... like a criminal in a comic book.”
Related: Rapper DMX pleads not guilty to $1.7 million tax evasion
On July 13, the 47-year-old rapper was charged with evading income taxes. At the time, officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said he participated in a "multi-year scheme to conceal millions of dollars of income from the IRS and to avoid paying $1.7 million of tax liabilities." Simmons pleaded not guilty to the charges the next day, according to The AP. The New York Times reported he pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud in November.
Although Rakoff was sympathetic to the rapper, he said Simmons had to be punished for the "particularly brazen and blatant" crime, The Times reported.
“In the court’s view Mr. Simmons is a good man, a very far from perfect man,” Judge Rakoff said. “In many ways he is, to give the cliché, his own worst enemy.”