Belfast Telegraph

Friday 6 March 2015

Lauryn Hill to serve time for tax evasion

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to three months in jail after pleading guilty on her federal tax evasion case.

The former Fugees singer and mother-of-six pled guilty last summer to three counts of failure to file tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007. She earned an estimated $1.8 million in that time.

Hill’s attorney Nathan Hochman informed the Associated Press she paid $970,000 in back taxes before her Monday court appearance to satisfy her debts. The judge showed her little leniency and sentenced the star to three months in a federal prison. Following her release she will be put on house arrest for three additional months.

Hill faced up to one year of prison time on each count.

Earlier this year the star requested the judge grant her forbearance. She filed court papers stating, “she withdrew from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family". This retreat saw Hill not earning income, which in turn created difficulty around paying her taxes.

During an April 22 hearing, US Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo made her position on the matter extremely clear.

"[Ms. Hill is] not someone who stands before the court penniless,” she said.

"This is a criminal matter. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been no effort here to pay these taxes."

Much of the musician’s money comes from music and film royalties. Her eight times platinum album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released in 1998. She also starred in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit opposite Whoopi Goldberg in 1993.

Hill announced last month she is recording once again.

In the wake of the lawsuit, she also released a new single May 3 entitled Neurotic Society.

"Yes, I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released," she wrote on her Tumblr account in late April. "And yes, I am working on new music."

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