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11271 Ventura Blvd #612 Studio City, CA 91604 Inside This Issue pg 1 ∙ pg 2 ∙ Food for Thought pg 3 ∙
Coming Down the Pipeline
From the Practice Corner
pg 4 ∙ Member Spotlight pg 5 ∙ Free Online Workshop pg 6 ∙ Shoutouts! pg 8 ∙ IRS Terror Tale of the Month
IRS Terror Tale of the Month HIP-HOP MANAGER TRIES TO GIVE IRS A BAD ‘RAP’
Derrick Lawrence isn’t exactly a household name, but the artists he’s represented in the past, including Drake and Lil Wayne, certainly are. Co-founder of the label Aspire Music Group and manager of numerous hip-hop icons, Lawrence has joined the list of many celebrities charged with tax evasion. In April of this year, Lawrence pled guilty to three counts of tax evasion after failing to file personal tax returns in 2009, 2010, and 2011. During these three years, Lawrence enjoyed profits of over $2.2 million, thanks in no small part to the exclusive deal Lawrence signed with then-up-and-coming rap superstar, Drake, in 2008. Lawrence plead guilty to all three counts and blamed his former accountant in open court, saying, “I failed to pay my taxes, which I left in other people’s hands.” This isn’t the first celebrity tax evasion case to cite bad accountants as the cause of grief. In the recent past, actors Nicolas Cage and Stephen Baldwin
both claimed their tax woes were caused by the bad advice of accountants or business managers. However, Lawrence has taken full responsibility for his situation. “I hired an accountant but didn’t follow up,” Lawrence told Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo. “It was my responsibility, but I was traveling.” Stacey Richmond, Lawrence’s lawyer, stated her client wants to “do right” by the court and has already begun to pay off over $750,000 in restitution. In addition to the fines, Lawrence faces up to three years in prison, one for each year he failed to file taxes. This is an important lesson for Lawrence and for anyone who doesn’t file legally required income tax returns. The IRS doesn’t care who you put in charge of your taxes or finances. When it’s your name on the line, make the time to be sure your taxes are filed when they’re due.
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