Lauryn Hill pleads guilty to tax evasion

Singer's sentencing delayed so she can pay back cash she owes

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

The Associated Press says that although the singer did not speak at the scheduled court appearance in Newark, New Jersey yesterday (June 29), 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 (£1.2 million) from music and film royalties. Each count holds a maximum penalty of one year in jail as well as a $100,000 (£64,000) fine.

Previously, Hill had spoken about the controversy in a rambling, 1,300 word statement on her Tumblr page. 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.”

Hill, 37, played her first UK show in over five years at London’s IndigO2 in April. 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.