Hill’s tax evasion sentencing postponed

By | Published on Tuesday 23 April 2013

Lauryn Hill

A US judge has postponed sentencing Lauryn Hill over the tax evasion charges she pleaded guilty to last year.

As previously reported, Hill entered a guilty plea last July, admitting that she failed to submit tax returns between 2005 and 2007. US tax authorities reckon Hill earned about $1.8 million during that time, and that she now owes around a million dollars when fines and interest are added to the owed taxes. Hill could face over two years in jail over the tax evasion charges – though the exact maximum sentence would depend on whether the monies owed actually exceeded a million. The one time Fugee’s legal reps disagree with the American tax man on exactly how much is owing.

The singer had planned to have a big chunk of the owed monies paid before sentencing took place, though so far has only paid $50,000. US Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo yesterday criticised Hill for not having paid more of the outstanding monies, but gave the singer until 6 May to get on with it, before the court considers a sentence. Though Hill’s lawyers are already pushing for a probationary sentence noting that she has six children to care for.

Hill’s reps added that the singer was now busy finalising a loan secured on two properties to raise the money to settle her tax debts. Judge Arleo did recognise those efforts, though said that Hill wasn’t someone “who stands before the court penniless”, given her property assets, and criticised the singer for seemingly relying on promised income from a new record deal to make her tax payments.

Said the judge: “This is a criminal matter. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been no effort here to pay these taxes”.

As previously reported, when first faced with the action against her, Hill wrote on Tumblr that she had always intended to pay her tax bills, but at the time she was trying to avoid “being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex”.