The Mis-Tax-ucation of Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill has pleaded guilty to tax evasion, according to reports.

Although the singer did not speak at the scheduled court appearance in Newark, New Jersey, her legal representative Nathan Hochman entered a guilty plea on her behalf.

US Magistrate Michael Shipp agreed to delay the sentencing from October to late November in order to give Hill enough time to pay back the taxes she owes. The singer is accused of three charges of evading tax payments from 2005 – 2007, a three-year period in which she earned an estimated $1.8 million from music and film royalties. Each count holds a maximum penalty of one year in jail as well as a $100,000 fine.

Previously, Hill had spoken about the controversy in a rambling, 1,300 word statement. She explained that she “left a more mainstream and public life” during the period to remove herself “from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it”.

The singer went on to claim that she had placed the “safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns” and revealed that she had “conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period”.

The former Fugees star also insisted: “My intention has always been to get this situation rectified.”

Her long-awaited second album, ‘The Return’, is expected later this year, though no release date has been set. The singer’s 1998 solo debut, ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’, won five Grammy Awards and sold an estimated 15 million copies worldwide.

by Wallace McTavish

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