Marc Anthony may have spent the past few years tending to J. Lo, but the three-lettered entity he should have been paying attention to was the IRS.
The Latino crooner, and better half of Jennifer Lopez, has agreed to pony up roughly $2.5 million in back taxes owed to the federal and state governments after failing to file returns on nearly $15.5 million in income over a five-year period.
Anthony himself was not charged with any offenses, though three of his businesses—touring company Ari Enterprises, Ltd., music publishers Bolero Records, Ltd. and two of the singer's managers—have pleaded guilty to a litany of tax crimes.
The "I Need to Know" singer got off without prosecution as he was apparently unaware that between 2000 and 2004 his taxes had gone unpaid. Anthony had hired a professional accountant to file and pay any amount he owed in both federal and state taxes during those years and had assumed his tax-paying record had gone untarnished.
"Our client was shocked to learn, as a result of the district attorney's investigation, that his corporate and personal taxes had not been filed or paid in several years," Anthony's publicist, Blanca LaSalle, said in a statement. "This revelation was especially surprising considering the fact that he specifically engaged a business management company, at significant cost, to prepare and file those tax returns, and to pay any tax due, during the period of time covered by the investigation."
The investigation, carried out by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, began when the 38-year-old El Cantante star's New York State tax return was flagged in the system for discrepancies.
Morgenthau said that the little problem of not paying his taxes began when the salsa king switched accountants in 2000, and that records show he had a pristine record up to that point.
Anthony has agreed to remit payment on the nearly $2.5 million in back taxes, interest and penalties and signed a deal to do so on Apr. 3. Lopez was not involved in the investigation as the couple does not file their taxes jointly.
While Anthony's wife wasn't implicated, his brother was.
Bigram Zayes, Anthony's brother, served as the general manager of his famous sibling's companies between 2000 and 2003 and on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a Class E felony for failing to file federal and state tax returns between 2000 and 2004 on $2.4 million in taxable income. He also pleaded guilty to failing to file his personal state and federal taxes.
Zayes is scheduled to be sentenced on June 12 and is expected to receive a conditional discharge. He will pay $400,000 in taxes and penalties and an additional $50,000 fine.
As for Anthony's other two companies, Ari and Bolero, both pleaded guilty on Apr. 5 to two misdemeanor tax offenses for failing to file both New York City unincorporated business tax returns and New York State taxes in 2003. Both companies are expected to be sentenced on June 7 and face up to $40,000 apiece in penalties.
All guilty parties are required to file a federal tax return for the current year before their formal sentencing.