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    Method Man Cops to Tax Evasion

    Method Man Kevin Mazur/WireImage

    His method was illegal.

    That's the stark admission from Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man, who pleaded guilty Monday in a Staten Island, New York, courtroom to a misdemeanor charge of attempted failure to pay taxes.

    As part of a deal with prosecutors, the 39-year-old hip-hopster, real name Clifford Smith, was sentenced to a conditional discharge, which means he'll avoid jail time after paying approximately $106,000 in restitution, penalties and interest he owes to New York State. The arrest will also be expunged from his record if he stays out of trouble.

    Method Man was busted Oct. 5, 2009, for failing to file returns and pay state income tax from 2004 to 2007.

    "Failure to pay your taxes is not a victimless crime," said Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan, Jr. "In these days of massive budget shortfalls and service cuts, tax evasion is a crime against all New Yorkers. Whether you are a celebrity or an average joe, you will be investigated, arrested and prosecuted."

    Judge Alan J. Meyer approved the plea arrangement on Monday. A rep for the How High rapper was unavailable for comment.

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    Whether it's failing to pay taxes or other crimes, celebs like Method Man just can't help popping up in E! Online's Court Appearances gallery.

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