Grammy Award-Winning Mary J. Blige Producer Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

What to Know

  • Mario Winans, a Grammy Award-winning producer, plead guilty to tax evasion Thursday
  • He is best known for his 2004 hit "I don't Wanna Know" and is the nephew of gospel singer CeCe Winans
  • Winans has produced for artists including Jennifer Lopez, Brian McKnight, and the late Notorious B.I.G.

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Mario Winans has admitted he intentionally failed to file federal income tax returns for several years.

Winans, a member of the Winans family, best known for its gospel music artists, faces two years in prison and a $200,000 fine after pleading guilty Thursday to charges he willfully failed to file tax returns from 2008-2012, federal prosecutors said. He's scheduled for sentencing in January.

Winans, who is 42 years old and is from Fort Lee, is the singer of "I Don't Wanna Know." He has worked with artists including R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Brian McKnight and the Notorious B.I.G.

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He was nominated for his first Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Contemporary R&B Album with "Hurt No More." He won his first Grammy a year later in the Best Gospel Performance category as writer/producer of "Pray," performed by his aunt CeCe Winans.

Prosecutors say he earned more than $2.8 million during the years he didn't file his tax returns. He must pay the IRS more than $400,000.

Winans said he had received royalty payments from checks to two companies he controlled. He has produced songs and albums for R&B, hip-hop and dance music artists, including several on the Bad Boy record label.

An attorney for Winans said he understands he made a mistake and wants to make things right.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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