Feds: Beanie Sigel charged with not reporting $1.5m in income

Beanie Sigel
Beanie Sigel (Tony Fitts)
Posted: October 06, 2010

It was a conviction on income tax evasion charges that took notorious gangster Al Capone off the streets for good. That was a novel idea in 1931. Since then, federal authorities have continued to use tax statutes to put the squeeze on alleged criminals.

Yesterday, federal authorities leveled counts against gangsta rapper Beanie Sigel. The South Philadelphia native is charged with failing to file income taxes for three years during which he earned about $1.54 million.

Sigel has sold millions of records with hits such as The Truth (1999) and The Reason (2001). During his decade-long career, he also built a reputation as sometime actor and part-time jailbird.

Sigel, known to the Internal Revenue Service by his legal name, Dwight Grant, was convicted in 2004 on federal weapons charges in Philadelphia and sentenced to a year in prison. After serving his term, he was jailed again on parole violations after failing five drug tests for controlled substances, including Percocet and Xanax.

In 2008, he was back behind bars - for a day - and given 6 months in a halfway house after traveling to an Atlantic City casino without permission and consorting with a known felon.

Sigel, of Lansdale, did not file tax returns in 2003, 2004, and 2005, said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.

His lawyer, Fortunato N. Perri., Jr., said Sigel will surrender himself to U.S. Marshals.

"I don't think he's being targeted, he just needs to get his personal business and tax affairs cleaned up," Perri said. "While he was in prison, other individuals were handling his finances

"Some of the business relationships he had with some of the players involved makes it more difficult," Perri said. "We're trying to resolve the issues as quick as we can."

A hearing date has not been scheduled.

If convicted, Sigel, 36, faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $300,000.

Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or samwood@phillynews.com.

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