Monday, December 22, 2014

Rapper Beanie Sigel moves to halfway house

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

The Bureau of Prisons says Sigel was moved from the Federal Correctional Institution Schuylkill to a Philadelphia-area residential reentry center on Thursday.

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 on drug and gun charges during a traffic stop on I-95 in Delaware County. He later pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance.

Sigel's lawyer, 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 preapproved activities such as finding work, obtaining identification, and reconnecting with family, bureau spokesman Chris Burke said. They have specific restrictions they must follow and programs they must 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 that "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.

Emily Babay PHILLY.COM
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