Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rapper Beanie Sigel moved from prison to halfway house

Rapper Beanie Sigel has moved from a federal prison to a halfway house. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Rapper Beanie Sigel has moved from a federal prison to a halfway house. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Rapper Beanie Sigel has moved from a federal prison to a halfway house.

The Bureau of Prisons says Sigel, whose real name is Dwight Grant, was moved from the Federal Correctional Institution Schuylkill to a Philadelphia-area residential reentry center on Aug. 14.

The Philadelphia native is expected to remain there until Dec. 6, according to the bureau.

Sigel, 40, had been serving a two-year sentence for tax evasion. He admitted failing to pay taxes for three years on more than $1 million of income, cheating the IRS out of nearly $350,000 in taxes from 2003 to 2005. 

Authorities also said he failed to pay taxes or file returns from 1999 through 2002. In total, according to prosecutors, he owed the IRS more than $700,000.

Two weeks before he was scheduled to report to prison -- and hours after the release of his sixth album, This Time -- Sigel was arrested for drug and gun charges during a traffic on Interstate 95 in Delaware County. He later pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance.

Sigel's attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., said the halfway house "gives the prisoners an opportunity to kind of work their way back, and reintegrate into the community."

Former inmates at the reentry centers are allowed to leave for pre-approved activities like finding work, obtaining identification and reconnecting with family, bureau spokesman Chris Burke said. Each inmate has specific restrictions they must follow and programs they participate in.

The bureau wouldn't specify which halfway house Sigel has been moved to, but said it is one run by the Philadelphia Residential Reentry Management field office. He could later move from the reentry center to home confinement. 

In an interview with Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca shortly before he reported to prison in 2012, Sigel said "missing all the money I'll miss on tour" was the only thing he dreaded about his time behind bars.

"But I'll get it again," the rapper said. "I've been rich four times, and broke forever."

Sigel hopes to return to the music industry, Perri said.

"I think that's ultimately his goal," he said.

Reports of Sigel's release surfaced last week when @DJ Drama and and @Wayno119 posted photos of the rapper on social media. DJ Drama wrote on Instagram: "welcome home beans!" and the posts were widely distributed.

"It does appear to me that he's still in demand," Perri said.

The recent cases are not the first time Sigel has run into trouble with the law. He previously served time in prison for possessing an illegal gun, and violated his probation in that case. He was found not guilty of attempted murder charges related to a 2003 shooting in West Philadelphia.

In the 2012 Inquirer interview, Sigel called his previous time in prison calming and said he was a "different person" there.

"I wasn't Beanie Sigel," he said. "So that was a good thing. I don't like being Beanie Sigel. Beanie Sigel is a headache."


Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

Emily Babay Philly.com
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