Eight-time Grammy-award winning singer Lauryn Hill was set to be sentenced earlier this week for failing to pay hundreds of thousands of owed back taxes but her sentencing has been postponed for two weeks in order to pay restitution. Hill was charged with failing to file three years’ worth of tax returns and owes $504,000 worth of taxes on her $1.8 million income between 2005 and 2007. She pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion in June 2012. It was believed that Hill would raise the money with a new recording contract by the fall of 2012, but Hill was unable to complete the recording sessions. So far, she has only pad $50,000. Hill had posted a public response on her Tumblr page, saying she had felt it “necessary to withdraw from society in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of her family” and that she paid her taxes during times when she was working more consistently.
She also mentioned that she was avoiding “being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda.” During the trial, U.S Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo reportedly said, “This is not someone who stands before the court penniless. This is a criminal matter. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been no effort here to pay these taxes.” The federal judge offered her until May 6, but warned lawyers that the court would not allow another slip up.
“I fully expect that by May 3 Ms. Hill will be able to pay back all the restitution she has,” said Hill’s attorney, Nathon Hochman. Hochman also noted that he plans to seek probation for his client as she is facing a possible sentence of up to three years in prison. Lauryn Hill has reportedly signed a $1 million record deal with Sony Music, which may help in avoiding prison time and paying back what she owes the government.