Famous Prisoners: Where Are They Now?

Famous Prisoners: Where Are They Now?

By Dianne Frazee-Walker

Where are the legends who were seen indulging in gourmet entrees and sipping fine wines at the trendiest restaurants but are now waiting in chow lines to dine?  Where is former billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who swapped illegal stock trading for commissary stamp trading?

Ja Rule, the famous rapper caught for not filing his income taxes, ended-up filing for parole.

The only three-piece suits these former dignitaries wear now are composed of handcuffs, leg irons, and waist chains.

From Wall Street to movie sets and recording studios, many renowned people have gone from posh to prison. Other notables have become renowned for the crime that landed them behind bars.

Phil Spector

Remember the haggard, pouty-lipped Phil Spector, the rock star who produced such hits as “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling?” Well, he must have lost that “loving feeling” when he was convicted of killing 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson. Spector allegedly shot his date after a night of drinking.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, Spector was later inducted into the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran, Calif., in 2009 for 19 years to life. When Mr. Spector is eligible for parole, he will be 88 years old.

Three years prior to Spector’s conviction, he married Rachelle Short, an aspiring 23-year-old musician, after a brief courtship. To this day, Rachelle continues to defend her husband’s innocence.

Dennis Kozlowski

The scandalous white-collar criminal Dennis Kozlowski was detained at Mid-State Correctional Facility, New York, for eight years of his 25-year sentence for his part in the Tyco $100 million dollar conspiracy.

Kozlowski was the CEO of Tyco, who built the company up with his shrewdness and extraordinary flair for trading, only to squander away millions of dollars from the company. Mr. Kozlowski allegedly embezzled millions of dollars to support his lavish lifestyle. Rumor has it that Kozlowski used $30 million of the company’s money to finance his luxurious New York City apartment. During Kozlowski’s trial, it was exposed that the shower curtains in his apartment alone were purchased for $6,000. Kozlowski couldn’t resist dipping his hand into Tyco’s till to foot half the $2 million bill for his second wife’s extravagant birthday bash in 2001.

The former Tyco CEO was convicted on June 17, 2005, for receiving $81 million in purportedly unauthorized bonuses, the purchase of more than $14 million in art, and the payment by Tyco of a $20 million investment banking fee to Frank Walsh, a former Tyco director.

Kozlowski was released on January 17, 2014, but his probation prohibits him from opening any kind of credit card account or even a bank account.

Ja Rule

On May 7, 2013, Academy nominee and top-20 hit recorder, Queens rapper Ja Rule, aka Jeffery Atkins, was released early after serving two concurrent sentences for tax evasion and weapons charges.

According to Famous Prisoners: Where Are They Now?, page 5, Ja Rule spent his time in Oneida Correctional Facility, New York, but TMZ.com reports the celebrity as being released from Ray Brook Federal Prison, New York.

Ja Rule was charged in 2010 with weapon possession charges stemming from 2007. The police found a semi-automatic handgun when they pulled over and searched his Lamborghini Murciélago. In 2011, he allegedly turned himself in to authorities.

The 50 Cent and Eminem hip-hop rival concurrently served a 28-month sentence with his two-year sentence, which was lowered to 26 months, for tax evasion. 2011 was not a good year for the 35-year-old rapper at the time. July 2011, he was sentenced for unpaid taxes on $3 million of his income, which is calculated at $1.1 million.

Ja Rule admits he was foolish and frivolous for not paying his taxes and stated he didn’t have anyone to handle his finances for him.

Like many creative people, who spend time in prison, Ja Rule discovered a hidden talent. He spent little time in the chow line and concocted his own decadent meals in his cell with ingredients from the commissary. Ja Rule shares how he spent his time and his favorite recipe, prison curry chicken, at http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.25966/title.ja-rule-shares-prison-curry-chicken-recipe.

The modern rapper was also inspired upon his release to utilize his passion for movie production. His most notable movie is a Christian movie entitled I’m in Love with a Church Girl; Ja Rule played himself. The movie is about a former rehabilitated criminal who finds redemption after being released from prison when he meets the love of his life. He was inspired by the storyline because it reminded him of his own life. For more details, visit: http://www.christianpost.com/news/im-in-love-with-a-church-girl-starring-ja-rule-and-adrienne-bailon-is-1-indie-movie-in-the-u-s-107445/

Ja Rule told USA Today about his attitude while incarcerated, “It’s really minimum — all of the fame, the movies, and the music,” Ja Rule told USA Today. “When you’re behind that wall, all that becomes very minimum…I was more focused on getting my mind right, getting my body right, more thinking about my family. Those are the things you cherish.”