By Scott T. Sterling

DMX pleaded guilty to tax fraud this week (Nov. 30), admitting that he failed to report millions of dollars in earnings to avoid paying $1.7 million in owed taxes.

Related: DMX Records New Cover of ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’

The rapper faces up to five years behind bars when he’s sentenced, with a court date scheduled for March 29 (via Rolling Stone). With DMX still dealing with rehab for drug and alcohol issues, however, that date is likely to be postponed.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said DMX was “systematically cheating on his taxes” by insisting on cash payments whenever possible and diverting royalty payments to the bank accounts of others, including managers.

“No matter who you are or whatever fame you may have achieved, the law applies equally to all, and no one is exempt from the shared obligation to pay our taxes,” Kim said.

While DMX stated in court that he “put other people in charge of me,” leading to the tax fraud, he still shouldered the blame: “I’m responsible,” he said. “I failed to file taxes.”

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