Rapper DMX pleads not guilty to dodging $1.7M tax debt

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Rapper DMX, left, leaves federal court in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017, with his attorney Murray Richman after pleading not guilty to tax evasion.

Rapper DMX, left, leaves federal court in New York, Friday, July 14, 2017, with his attorney Murray Richman after pleading not guilty to tax evasion. (Photo: AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper DMX has pleaded not guilty to charges he's been dodging the IRS.

The hip hop star, whose real name is Earl Simmons, appeared Friday in federal court in New York City after authorities accused him of owing $1.7 million in back taxes. He's to be released on $500,000 bond.

Prosecutors say Simmons stopped paying taxes in the early 2000s at the peak of his career, when he was making millions off of chart-topping songs, concert performances and movie roles.

Authorities say when the Internal Revenue service tried to make him pay up, the 46-year-old Yonkers native began putting his paychecks in his managers' accounts and having them give him cash for his expenses.

His lawyers had no immediate comment Friday.

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