Judge Said Mario Winans Has To Get His Life Together
A federal judge in singer Mario Winans tax evasion case ripped the singer for still living large even though he is broke and outright neglecting one of his sons.
But Judge Esther Salas Monday stopped short of sentencing the former Bad Boy artist to the maximum of two years in federal prison at his sentencing hearing Monday after he pled guilty to one count of failure to file taxes under a plea deal. Winans admitted that he’d only filed federal taxes once in the last 12 years.
Judge Salas warned Winans that this was his last chance – and one screw up would land him in lockup.
“The days of you putting things off are over, and if you do that, you are going to be saying goodbye to your kids,” the judge said.
Instead of prison, Judge Salas sentenced him to five years probation, 500 hours of community service at a boys music school in Newark, pay $434,968 in restitution and seek mental health treatment.
“Do I think custody is the answer? No, I do not,” Judge Salas said. “I think putting him in jail does not allow him to make a living and pay the taxes back.”
During the two hour hearing, the court heard how Winans was already struggling to pay his bills: besides owing $178,000 in child support, he is two months behind on the $6,200 a month rent on his $1.4 million home in Fort Lee, had trouble paying his legal fees for the case and resorted to borrowing large sums of money from his mother in order to stay afloat.
“He’s in the negative,” Winans’ lawyer Aidan O’Connor said. “He understands that this is not a sustainable path.”