Method Man Slapped With Tax Evasion Charges

 Wu-Tang rapper Method Man was released on his own recognizance today (October 5) after being arraigned on tax-evasion charges.

Method Man (born Clifford Smith)  clutched an Ultimate X-Men graphic novel during the noon proceedings at Stapleton Criminal Court. He appeared to be holding his page with his thumb as he held the book behind his back during the arraignment.
 
Earlier today, the New York bred rapper used the book to shield his face while he was led out of the 120 Police Precinct stationhouse, St. George.
 
Officials allege Method Man didn't file New York State Income Tax Returns from 2004 through 2007, failing to pay $32,799 in personal income tax during that time. The arrest was announced by District Attorney Daniel Donovan and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward this morning.

"Taxes are the burden that all citizens share in a civil society, whether you are an 'average Joe' on the street or a high-profile rap artist," said Donovan in a press release. "Because of the alleged action of people like [Method Man], law abiding citizens face higher taxes and reduced government services. Failure to properly report and pay your taxes is a crime against all citizens and will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted."
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Method Man faces a charge of repeated failure to file personal income and earnings tax, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison if convicted. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of failure to pay tax.
 
He is due back in court on Dec. 9.

Method Man is no stranger to tax problems. In March, his 2008 Lincoln Navigator was repossessed from outside his home by the Department of Taxation after he was reportedly $52,503 in arrears.