Lauryn Hill Prison-Bound for 3 Months for $1.8M Tax Evasion

Image: Lauryn Hill Prison-Bound for 3 Months for $1.8M Tax Evasion

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 08:02 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in federal prison on Monday, two weeks after a judge scolded her for failing to pay restitution in the $1.8 million tax evasion case the singer pleaded guilty to last year.

In Newark, N.J., Monday U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Cox Arleo sentenced Hill to three months in federal prison, an additional three months under house arrest, nine months of supervised release, and also ordered her to pay a $60,000 fine, according to TMZ.

Hill, 37, an eight-time Grammy winning R&B artist, pleaded guilty last summer to failing to pay taxes on $1.8 million earned from 2005 to 2007. Hill's attorney, Nathan Hochman, claims his client "fully paid" her debt of more than $900,000 in back taxes and penalties before Monday's sentencing, according to Reuters.

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In court, Hill likened her financial situation to slavery.

"I was put into a system I didn't know the nature of... I'm a child of former slaves," Hill said. "I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me. I sold 50 million units… now I'm up here paying a tax debt. If that's not likened to slavery, I don't know what is."

Hill said she could not pay her taxes because she left the music business and didn’t have the money. Her last album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," dropped in 1998. Hill claims to have inked a record deal with Sony recently, and even released a track Friday called "Neurotic Society."

"I needed to be able to earn so I could pay my taxes, without compromising the health and welfare of my children, and I was being denied that," Hill, a mother of six, reportedly said in court. She had five of her children with Rohan Marley, the son of reggae singer Bob Marley.

Arleo criticized Hill last month at a hearing and demanded the singer pay restitution before sentencing this week.

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"This is not someone who stands before the court penniless," Arleo told Hochman. "This is a criminal matter. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been no effort here to pay these taxes."

Hill is to report to prison on July 8, though it's not yet clear where she'll serve her sentence.

Related stories:

Lauryn Hill Faces Federal Tax Charges

Bassist Who Toured With Lauryn Hill Fatally Shot

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