Which celebrities have been convicted of tax fraud?

  • 4 min read
  • Aug 02, 2022

Which celebrities have been convicted of tax fraud?

With pop star Shakira recently accused by the Spanish government of evading €14.5 million in taxes, the issue of celebrity taxes is back in the spotlight.

Obviously, we’re not saying the Colombian star is to blame. He still has to stand trial for alleged tax fraud, which could bring us the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer up to eight years in prison and a tasty €24 million fine.

But Shakira isn’t the first celebrity to face prosecution for tax evasion — and she certainly won’t be the last.

These are some of the most famous celebrities who have landed themselves in hot water with the tax authorities. How many do you remember?

chuck berry

Nicknamed “The Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Chuck Berry is the guitar genius behind “Maybellene”, “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode”.

But all these visits to carefree youth and an insatiable thirst for more must have taken its toll on Barry.

In 1979, he was convicted of tax evasion of $100,000 (roughly $450,000 today, roughly €440,000) and sentenced to 120 days in jail and 1,000 hours of community service, spent performing benefit concerts across the United States. .

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) became suspicious of Barry’s tax returns, and the legend was often paid large bundles of cash for his concerts.

After serving time at Lompoc Prison Camp in Southern California, Barry began writing his autobiography, which was later published in 1987.

He brought a guitar, writing materials and two dictionaries to his cell. There are no surprises.

Al Capone

Next is gangster Al Capone, who made his fortune and fame through alcohol during prohibition in the United States.

After reportedly boasting “they can’t collect legal taxes on illegal money,” it was the taxman who finally brought down the mighty Capone.

In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that profits from alcohol—even though it was considered a crime at the time—were still taxable, giving the Feds what they needed to go after the king.

Despite an estimated annual income of $60 million ($891 million in today’s money, roughly €873 million) and a lavish lifestyle, Capone never once filed a tax return, claiming no taxable income.

IRS agents spent years meticulously gathering evidence on Capone and eventually charged him with 22 counts of tax evasion.

He was convicted in 1931 and sentenced to 11 years in prison (unprecedented at the time) and ordered to pay back taxes of $215,000 (now $3,431,640).

While serving the first part of his sentence at the infamous Alcatraz prison, Capone’s mental health deteriorated as his brain became infected with syphilis and America’s scariest man was eventually released from a mental hospital with a mental capacity of 12. -Year

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage is another big name that has had tax problems.

In 2007, the actor was accused by the IRS of improperly deducting $600,000 (approximately €588,000) in personal expenses from his tax bill. This is a lot of office supplies.

Two years later, things got worse for Cage—much worse—when the IRS slapped him with $6.2 million (roughly over €6 million) in back taxes for failing to pay $24 million in taxes. According to Huffington Post (about 23 million euros).

He earned this multi-million dollar amount by playing in it Ghost Rider, Grindhouse And next. Yes, you read that right, Cage made $24 million with back-to-back flops.

In 2010, Cage said he paid more than $70 million (approximately €68.5 million) in taxes during his career, enough to fund roughly 1,000 nurses for a year.

In court, he did the legal equivalent of smiling, shrugging and apologizing for the mistakes of his accountants, which he claimed he was unaware of.

The 58-year-old, who was born in Long Beach, California, accused his business manager of “pocketing millions of dollars while driving him to financial ruin.”

These tax problems cost Cage a Bavarian castle and homes in Las Vegas, California and New Orleans.

Poor old cage.

Lauryn Hill

Despite trying to stay out of the public eye to raise her children, singer Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to three months in prison for tax evasion in the United States.

The Grammy-winning singer, who rose to fame as part of the hip-hop group the Fugees, pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes on about $1.8 million (approximately €1.7 million) in income between 2005-2007.

“I am the child of former slaves who were forced by a system,” Hill said in court. “I had an economic system imposed on me.”

In a statement to the judge, Hill told the judge that she intended to settle matters with the taxman but was unable to raise her children after retiring from public life and ending her music career.

Hale has six children, five of them with Rohan Marley, son of Bob Marley.

In 2016, various sources reported that Hill was again facing tax problems. However, the singer clarified on Twitter that he is not dealing with any new tax issues and is still working to clear his previous debts.

Oji Simpson

In Hollywood, celebrities are often defined by ranks – A-list, B-list, etc.

OJ Simpson—former football player, broadcaster, actor, and convicted felon—was on one of these lists, along with several others.

In 1994, he was briefly on the unofficial wanted list while in the passenger seat of a white Ford Bronco. Later, he was listed on California’s most delinquent taxpayers list, owing the state $1.4 million (just over €1.3 million) in back taxes.

But Simpson, unlike many others on this list, had excellent tax advice leading up to the revelation.

Almost all of his money was stashed away in pensions and bank accounts in countries that tend not to open their coffers to the IRS. Simpson also made life difficult for creditors by trying to extract cash from his assets, as he had taken out many loans on his houses and cars.

However, Simpson’s other legal problems soon overshadowed his tax headaches. In 2007, he was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with armed robbery and kidnapping.

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