Rapper DMX indicted for dodging medical bills

Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:44pm EDT
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PHOENIX (Reuters) - Rap star DMX has been indicted in Arizona on charges that he used a false identity to try and avoid paying medical expenses incurred during a hospital visit, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's office said a grand jury has charged DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, with one count of theft and one count of taking someone else's identity.

Mike Scerbo said the felony indictment stemmed from a visit Simmons made to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, in April during which he gave his name as "Troy Jones," allegedly to avoid paying for treatment.

The indictment is the latest in a string of tangles with the law for the 37-year-old rapper, who was nabbed by police at a Phoenix shopping mall last Saturday on a warrant.

Earlier this month, Simmons was arrested at a Phoenix airport for failing to appear in court, failure to pay fines and driving without a license.

The rapper, who has a home outside the city, was arrested in Arizona in May on suspicion of drug possession and animal cruelty after searches of his home allegedly turned up weapons, drugs, dog carcasses and abused pit bulls.

While he is best know as a rapper, DMX has also acted in several movies including "Romeo Must Die" and "Exit Wounds."