Drake’s ex-manager gets eight months in prison for tax evasion

BYAndrew Keshner
Derrick Lawrence, a co-founder of music label Aspire Music Group, was sentenced to eight months in prison for failing to pay his taxes.

A hip hop manager linked to stars like Drake and Lil’ Wayne booked a new gig — eight months in prison for failing to pay his taxes.

Derrick Lawrence received the sentence Monday after pleading guilty last year for not filing personal tax returns from 2009 to 2011. The Aspire Music Group co-founder also has to pay back some $600,000 he still owes the feds.

A year ahead of his tax omission, Lawrence’s company inked Drake to a management deal. From 2009 to 2011, the rapper’s former manager made $2.2 million, but the IRS didn’t get the returns.

Lawrence's company signed rapper Drake to a management deal in 2008.

(Arthur Mola/AP)

“It was never a disrespect to the government. It was a lack of knowledge,” Lawrence, 48, told Brooklyn Federal Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo. The returns have now been filed, Lawrence said, and “it’s my fault for not following up with my accountants who I hired.”

His lawyer, Stacey Richman, said Lawrence was good for the money because he could always get work. Lawrence wasn’t living big, Richman insisted, and is hardworking and respected in the industry.

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