Rapper DMX facing tax fraud charges

Rapper DMX pleaded not guilty Friday to federal tax fraud charges.

The 46-year-old Yonkers native, whose real name is Earl Simmons, is accused of hiding about $1.7 million in taxes from the IRS between 2002 and 2005.

He was arraigned Friday in a Manhattan courtroom and is free on $500,000 bond.

Outside court, DMX explained to reporters why he turned himself in.

"It allowed me to not be scared of the situation and face it head on, you know what I'm saying?" he said. "My life's in God's hands.

Prosecutors say DMX avoided paying taxes by setting up accounts in other people's names and using cash for personal expenses. 

But his lawyer, Murray Richman, says DMX's financial team should be held responsible.

"You have to take into consideration that’s what he has managers for," Richman said. "People took his money to do those things for him. It's not alleged that he did this voluntarily to avoid taxation."

DMX made his name from hits such as "Party Up" and "Ruff Ryders Anthem."

He spent more than two months in jail in 2015 for failing to pay child support.

He was also arrested on rape charges in 1998 but was later cleared of those allegations.

DMX is due back in court on Monday.

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