News: UPDATE: Method Man Released From Criminal Court On Tax Evasion Charges [Video]

Monday, Oct 5, 2009 5:55PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rapper Clifford "Method Man" Smith was released Monday (October 5) from a New York criminal court hours after turning himself into authorities on tax evasion charges.

The rapper, who was met by media, attempted to avoid being spotted by cameras.

Smith clutched an "Ultimate X-Men" graphic novel during the noon proceedings at Stapleton Criminal Court. He appeared to be holding his page with his thumb as he held the book behind his back during the arraignment. Earlier today, Smith, 38, of Arden Heights, used the book to shield his face while he was led out of the 120 Police Precinct station house, St. George. Smith faces a charge of repeated failure to file personal income and earnings tax, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison if convicted. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of failure to pay tax. He is due back in court on Dec. 9. (Staten Island Advance)

Mef turned himself in Monday (October 5) morning.

Grammy Award-winning hip-hop star Method Man turned himself in to authorities this morning after failing to pay nearly $33,000 in back personal taxes, officials said. The Wu Tang member -- whose real name is Clifford Smith -- walked into the Staten Island DA's office at about 8 a.m. to face felony charges in connection with neglecting to pay $32,799 dating back to 2004. (New York Post)

The arrest was made public Monday morning.

The arrest was announced by District Attorney Daniel Donovan and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward this morning. "Taxes are the burden that all citizens share in a civil society, whether you are an 'average Joe' on the street or a high-profile rap artist," said Donovan in a press release. "Because of the alleged action of people like Mr. Smith, law abiding citizens face higher taxes and reduced government services. Failure to properly report and pay your taxes is a crime against all citizens and will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted." (SI Live News)

After previously joking about not paying his taxes due to being "high," Mef later retracted his statement.

"The reporter said I didn't pay my taxes," Mef said in a video. "It was a play on the Afro[man] song. We was playing around...We were joking around at the end of the article and it wasn't fair that the Daily News put that headline up there, but when you make a movie like How High and sh*t, people always gonna paint you like that and that's the bottom line...Whose gonna really honestly believe that a motherf*cker forgot to pay his taxes because a motherf*cker was smoking too much weed...I may not do any more interviews ever based on how they take your words outta context, ya dig? It's all good though. Y'all be good." (World Star Hip Hop)

Check out footage of Method Man leaving court below:

He is due back in court Wednesday, December 9th.

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