​Ja Rule Prison Time Extended In Federal Custody​​

By: | 02/22/2013 09:08 AM ET
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Jeffery Atkins, better known as Ja Rule, was released from prison, but he is not a free man yet.

The multi-award winning rapper left the New York Mid-State Jail where he has been incarcerated for nearly the last two years on illegal gun possession charges.

However, it is unlikely that he will be touring anytime soon, as the facility turned him straight over to federal agents; he still has time to serve for tax evasion. The 36-year-old failed to pay taxes on over $3 million in earnings between 2004–2006.

“I in no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal,” he told the judge. “I was a young man who made a lot of money – I’m getting a little choked up – I didn’t know how to deal with these finances, and I didn’t have people to guide me, so I made mistakes.”

He may have less than six months left and may be eligible for a halfway house, defense attorney Stacey Richman said. Back taxes are one of the main reasons he wants to get back to work, she said.

“Many people are looking forward to experiencing his talent again,” Richman said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mack said Atkins owed the IRS $1.1 million and didn’t immediately know what if any had been paid. Once out of custody, Atkins also faces a year of supervised release, he said.

Ja Rule, who went to the prison in Marcy in June 2011, got out at his earliest release date, state correction spokeswoman Linda Foglia said. He had two misbehavior reports for unauthorized phone calls in February 2012 and had work assignments on lawn and grounds crews and participated in education programs, she added.