Raymond "Benzino" Scott, embattled co-owner of the Source Magazine, has been charged by the United States attorney’s office in Massachusetts with failing to file tax returns in 1999 and 2000.
Scott plead innocent in a U.S. District Court to willful failure to file tax returns on Oct. 28. Scott is accused of not reporting an estimated $1.5 million in combined income from 1999 and 2000.
He was arraigned and freed on $10,000 unsecured bond.
"There was an extensive investigation into this matter," FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz told The Boston Herald. "We took a sweeping look at this individual. We were aware of the allegations of murder and everything else. This is what we came up with."
Scott plead innocent in U.S. District Court to willful failure to file tax returns on Oct. 28 for not reporting $1.5 million dollars. "I’ll be vindicated," Scott told AllHipHop.com. "They’ve been investigating me for years and all they got me for is not filing taxes. I had someone in the office that was supposed to do that and something must have happened that year."
Marcinkiewicz would not speculate on whether Scott’s tax charges are part of a larger probe in the Hip-Hop industry, but FBI sources told The Herald that the inquiry into Scott also examined his gang ties, which they claim were formed when he was a member of the rap group The Almighty RSO.
While they were never charged, the Boston rap group became the subject of a murder investigation in relation to the 1994 slaying of Roxbury bouncer Michael Adams.
Scott served as the co-founder of The Almighty RSO.
The federal tax charges are just the latest round of legal and financial troubles for the Source Magazine. In recent months, the publication and its employees have found themselves facing various criminal charges and civil suits.
The Source is also currently engaged in a bitter war of words with Hot 97 on-air personality Funk Master Flex, 50 Cent’s G-Unit and Eminem.
"It hurts my heart where n**as support Curtis Jackson [50 Cent]. If you’re brave and stand for the ‘hood you will be a target," Benzino said.
Scott said he has a new group he will release material with to take on his rap rivals.
"I got a diss song against Eminem called ‘Detox’ this Friday. Capitol One N***as that is my new movement, they got something for 50 and G-Unit."