Pop-rapper Ja Rule had quite a streak of radio hits and Grammy nods in the early 2000s. Now he's nearing the end of a different streak - his legal woes.
The 36-year-old, born Jeffrey Atkins, had been in a New York state prison on illegal-gun-possession charges, serving the better part of a two-year sentence. Upon his release, he promptly went back into a New York City clink to finish a sentence resulting from tax evasion charges.
The charges stemmed from a period between 2004 and 2006 when the singer failed to pay taxes on more than $3 million in income, resulting in a bill of just more than $1 million dollars. He'd been serving that 28-month sentence concurrently with his gun charges but had some remaining time left on the tax sentence. He's expected to be released in July.
Once out of custody, Atkins is still subject to a year of supervised release. His legal troubles have been one reason he hasn't been a force on the charts in many years. He won a Grammy nomination for best rap album in 2002 for "Pain Is Love" and appeared in several hit films, including "The Fast & the Furious" and "Scary Movie 3."
Once he exits Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, he's eager, his defense attorney Stacey Richman told the court, to get back to work to start paying that tax bill, according to the AP.
"Many people are looking forward to experiencing his talent again, Richman said.