Singer Lauryn Hill Admits Failing to File Income Tax Returns Declaring More Than $1.8 Million
Friday, June 29, 2012 • 1:58pm
NEWARK, NJ - Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill, a resident of South Orange, pleaded guilty in federal court today on three counts of failing to file income taxes.
Hill, 37, could face up to three years in prison if convicted.
According to information released by U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, Hill waived her right to a trial and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Shipp in Newark federal court earlier today.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, in addition to being an entertainer, Hill owned and operated four sub-chapter S corporations and had as her primary source of income royalties from the recording and film industries. During calendar years 2005, 2006 and 2007, Hill received more than $1.8 million in income, and failed to file tax returns with the IRS for those years.
The counts to which Hill pleaded guilty each carry a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison plus fines and court costs. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 27.
Earlier this month, Hill took to her Tumblr page to discuss the charges against her, and why she did not file income taxes for those three years. She claims she withdrew largely from public life in order to shield herself and her family, including her six children, from being "manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda."
"I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns! I also embraced my right to resist a system intentionally opposing my right to whole and integral survival.
"I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period. Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution.
My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes. This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family."
Hill's attorney has publicly stated the action being taken against her is nothing more than an attempt to cash in on her celebrity status.
She rose to fame in the 1990s as a member of the hip-hop band the Fugees. She later won five Grammys for her solo album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."