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23 Celebrities found guilty of Tax Evasion

There aren’t many things in life that are guaranteed, but paying taxes is one of them. And although celebrities frequently live privileged lives as a result of their money and status, the Internal Revenue Service or the IRS doesn’t treat the wealthy differently. According to IRS data released by the U.S., one of the two groups of taxpayers who are more likely to be audited by the IRS includes celebrities or anyone who earns more than $500,000.

Sadly, some famous people have discovered the hard way that they are not above the law. Whether they knowingly filed a false tax return or unintentionally selected an incompetent tax advisor. Here are just a few examples of famous people who have been busted and found guilty of tax evasion.


Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes was found guilty in 2008 on three charges of misdemeanor tax evasion from 1999 to 2001. According to the New York Daily News, he held onto $7 million in federal taxes during this time.

The “Blade” star received a three-year prison term in a federal facility in Pennsylvania. He started his sentence in December 2010 and was released to home detention in April 2013. According to Reuters, his house arrest was supposed to conclude on July 19, 2013.

Yet Snipes’ problems with taxes didn’t end there. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Snipes was required to pay $9.5 million in overdue taxes by the Federal Revenue Service in November 2018.

Mike Sorrentino

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, a star of “Jersey Shore,” pleaded guilty to tax evasion in January 2018, according to TMZ. The reality actress was charged with not paying all of her taxes on roughly $9 million in earnings between 2010 and 2012. He was given an eight-month prison term, which he started serving in January 2019, and was released on September 12, 2019.


Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino owes $2.3M in taxes after prison stint

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino — who, in 2019, served time in federal prison for tax evasion — owes Uncle Sam $2.3 million in unpaid taxes over the course of five years.
Legal documents obtained Thursday by The Sun show that the 39-year-old “Jersey Shore” star’s debts to the IRS are from 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino owes $2.3 million in federal taxes. (PictureGroup/Sipa USA)

Stephen Baldwin

Actor Stephen Baldwin admitted guilt in March 2013 to failing to pay $400,000 in New York state income taxes for the years 2008, 2009, and 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Baldwin told reporters that he had received faulty advice from lawyers and accountants, noting that his attempt to avoid paying taxes was not intentional. According to CBS News, he avoided probation by paying the bill off within a year and avoiding jail time.

Ja Rule

According to The Washington Post, rapper Ja Rule, whose actual name is Jeffrey Atkins, pleaded guilty in March 2011 to tax evasion or failing to submit tax returns on more than $3 million in revenue. According to the Los Angeles Times, he was given a sentence of 28 months in prison and agreed to pay $1.1 million in back taxes. In May 2013, he was granted an early release from prison, and the BBC reported that he will be kept under house arrest until July 28.


Stephen Baldwin pleads guilty to tax charge, will pay $300,000

Stephen Baldwin was arrested in December on charge of failing to file taxes in 2008, 2009 and 2010. (Photo via

Darryl Strawberry

According to USA Today, federal tax fraud charges or tax evasion cases against Darryl Strawberry and his agent were brought in December 1994 after allegations that the struggling baseball player neglected to record more than $500,000 in earned income from 1986 to 1990. According to The New York Times, Strawberry entered a guilty plea in February 1995 and received a sentence of three months in jail and three months under house arrest.

Fat Joe

According to Reuters, in 2012, rapper Fat Joe, real name Joseph Cartagena, entered a plea agreement for two charges of tax evasion with the IRS on more than $3 million in revenue. According to the website, he paid $718,000 in outstanding taxes before being sentenced.

According to TMZ, he received a sentence of four months in jail, a $15,000 fine, and a year of probation. He received an early release on Thanksgiving Day in 2013, according to BET.


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Joe Francis

Joe Francis, the creator of “Girls Gone Wild,” pled guilty in September 2009 to two misdemeanor counts of filing false tax forms, where he withdrew $500,000 in interest revenue and bought jail employees, according to the Los Angeles Times. According to the publication, he was sentenced to 301 days already spent and one year of probation, as well as roughly $250,000 in reparation to the IRS.

Lauryn Hill

According to the BBC, Lauryn Hill received a three-month prison sentence in 2013 for failing to pay almost $1.8 million in taxes between 2005 and 2007.

Additionally, several publications stated that Hill was having tax issues once more in 2016. The singer explained on Twitter that while she was still striving to pay off her previous tax debts, she was not dealing with any new tax issues.


Was Lauryn Hill singled out among tax evaders?

Eight-time Grammy Award winning singer Lauryn Hill, center, leaves federal court in Newark, N.J., Monday after being sentenced to three months for tax evasion.(Photo via Mel Evans / AP)

Teresa and Joe Giudice

According to Us Weekly, Joe Giudice was charged with neglecting to submit tax returns from 2004 to 2008 as part of the 39 counts of fraud and tax evasion charges that Teresa and Joe Giudice were arraigned on in July 2013. In November 2013, the stars of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” were charged with two additional offenses, according to the source.

According to the New York Daily News, Teresa admitted guilt on four counts and Joe admitted guilt on five, including failing to file his taxes. According to Us Weekly, Teresa received a sentence of 15 months in prison, Joe received a sentence of 41 months in prison, and the pair was ordered to pay $414,588 in restitution.

Teresa was freed from prison in December 2015 after completing the final 11 months of her sentence, as reported by Us Weekly. In March 2016, Joe started executing his prison sentence.

A judge decided in October 2018 that Joe would be deported to Italy after serving his sentence. Guidice was detained by immigration following the completion of his prison sentence in March 2019 until his departure for Italy in October 2019. According to a September Fox News article, he is currently residing in Italy while awaiting a decision in his deportation case.

Heidi Fleiss

According to the Los Angeles Times, former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss received a 37-month prison term in 1997 for tax evasion and money laundering. According to CNN, she was transferred to a halfway house to finish her sentence after serving 20 months in prison.

 Sophia Loren

According to Forbes, Sophia Loren served 17 days of a 30-day prison term for tax evasion in 1982. The well-known Italian actress asserted that her deceased tax preparer simply overlooked the purported error on her 1974 tax return.

According to the article, it appears that she was truly complying the entire time because

in October 2013, the Court of Cassation in Rome determined that the calculations made for her income from 1974 were accurate and that she was vindicated.

Chuck Berry

Following his conviction for tax evasion in 1979, Chuck Berry was given a sentence that comprised 120 days in federal jail, four years of probation, and 1,000 hours of community service, according to the publication Heavy.

Popular songs like “Johnny B. Berry died in 2017. He was the singer of “Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and “Run Rudolph Go.” At 90 years old, he was.


Nicknamed the 'Father of Rock and Roll', Chuck Berry is the guitar genius behind 'Maybellene', 'Roll Over Beethoven' and 'Johnny B. Goode'.

Chuck Berry performs during a concert celebration for his 60th birthday at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Mo.(Photo by James A. Finley/1986 AP)


Richard Hatch

The “Survivor” champion Richard Hatch was sentenced to 51 months in prison in May 2006 after a jury found him guilty of tax evasion and submitting a fraudulent tax return for failing to report over $1 million in profits from 2000 and 2001 to the IRS. According to CBS News, he moved from incarceration to supervised release in October 2009.

According to the New York Daily News, Hatch was ordered back to jail in 2011 because he was expected to file and pay his taxes again for the years 2000 and 2001, but he didn’t do so. According to Entertainment Weekly, he was freed from prison in December 2011 after spending an extra nine months.

Pete Rose

According to the Los Angeles Times, disgraced baseball hero Pete Rose was found guilty of tax evasion in 1990. For failing to disclose more than $354,000 in revenue from gambling, appearances to sign autographs, and sales of baseball memorabilia, he was given a five-month prison sentence and a $50,000 fine.

According to the publication, Rose was sentenced to serve his time and complete 1,000 hours of community service, as well as three months in a halfway house.


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Dolce and Gabbana

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were involved in a tax scandal, according to The Wall Street Journal, but their sentence was reversed in October 2014.

The two were found guilty in June 2013 of neglecting to submit tax filings for their Italian company. According to the business-oriented daily, prosecutors said they owed taxes for the 2004 transfer of the company’s primary brands to the Luxembourg-based Gado.

Ty Warner

Creator of Beanie Babies H. According to Forbes, Ty Warner admitted guilt in October 2013 to one count of tax evasion. According to the article, Warner avoided paying at least $5.6 million in taxes between 1996 and 2007 by failing to submit at least $24.4 million in interest income from a Swiss bank account to the IRS. He also failed to submit the mandatory yearly “FBAR” reports to the US on his foreign accounts. Treasury.

Warner agreed to pay a $53.5 million fine, $16 million in back taxes, and interest as part of a plea bargain. He avoided going to jail despite U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which called for 46 to 57 months in prison but was instead given a two-year probationary period and 500 hours of community service.

Leona Helmsley

According to the Los Angeles Times, hotel tycoon Leona Helmsley was found guilty in 1992 of dodging $1.7 million in taxes. She received a sentence of 750 hours of community service and four years in prison.

She only served 21 months, but the judge handed the “Queen of Mean” an additional 150 hours of community service after learning she had hired people to do part of her required hours, according to The New York Times.

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart may be best known for her insider trading incident, but she also owed $220,000 in overdue taxes on revenue from 1991 and 1992. Stewart reasoned that because she lived in Connecticut for more than half the year and spent less than half the year in New York, she didn’t owe any taxes. Regrettably, in court, her case was rejected.

Nicolas Cage

Another well-known person who has experienced tax issues is Nicolas Cage. According to People, Cage claimed in 2010 that despite having paid more than $70 million in taxes throughout his career, he still owed the IRS $14 million. $6.7 million from 2008 was included in the $14 million. According to People, Cage also said at the time that he was up to date on his taxes for 2009 and that all taxes he owed will be paid.

Willie Nelson

Country music legend Willie Nelson came up with a novel solution to his tax issues in 1991. Due to dishonest practices by his accounting company, Nelson owes the IRS $16.7 million in addition to interest and penalties. But, the country singer’s legal team was able to reach a $6 million settlement. The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? was an album Nelson published to assist pay off the debt. It generated a profit of $3.6 million, the majority of which went to the IRS.

Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton has struggled with money for more than 20 years, filing for bankruptcy in 1998 and 2010. The musician owed Uncle Sam about $400,000 in 2010, according to The Blast. She paid off the obligation, but in 2018 she was slammed with $550,000 in delinquent taxes on income from two and three years previous.

Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony, a singer, and Jennifer Lopez’s ex-husband, has repeatedly neglected to pay his taxes. When someone else handled his taxes in 2007, he was astonished to learn that he owed $2.5 million in back taxes, according to CBS News. Later, in 2010, Anthony’s Long Island mansion was struck with two tax liens totaling $3.4 million.


The actor and comedian Sinbad declared bankruptcy in 2013. His financial difficulties were caused by his assertions that he owed the IRS $8.3 million in past taxes from 1998 to 2006 and that he hadn’t made any payments on his state or federal tax debts since 2009, according to


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