August 22nd, 2012 by faye
Singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill reportedly failed to pay yet another tax return from the State of New Jersey, which totals to more than $440,000.
According to reports, a civil judgment was entered against 37-year-old Lauryn Hill on June 14th by a New Jersey court, saying that the former Fugees member is responsible for $446,386 in unpaid state taxes.
Just a week before this judgment came down, Lauryn Hill was charged with failing to file federal tax returns worth $1.5 million for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 — which is a federal crime. She pleaded guilty to the tax evasion charges and is now facing three years in prison.
Back in June, the reserved star responded to the tax evasion charges on her Tumblr site, writing:
“For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground. I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda.”
Lauryn Hill is currently out on bail for her tax evasion case. She is scheduled for a November hearing, and faces up to three years in prison in case she is convicted.
While the singer is dealing with her tax issues, Hill turned down an invitation for an interview from TV host Oprah Winfrey.
Reports said that on Monday, a Twitter follower asked media maven Oprah to “Get Lauryn Hill on your show ASAP.” The host responded, “Tried. She said no.”
The request from Oprah may have been a bit of an inconvenience for the eight-time Grammy Award winner, who is currently dealing with a series of tax evasion issues with the Internal Revenue Service.
August 14th, 2012 by faye
The mugshot of singer Lauryn Hill has already been released by the United States Marshals Service which was taken in June, following her guilty plea to three counts of failure to file tax returns for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 where she reportedly earned more than $1.8 million.
According to reports, 37-year-old Lauryn Hill faces three years behind the cold bars of prison after she admitted that she failed to file her tax returns for three consecutive years.
Hill’s mugshot shows her donning the same white blouse she wore on June 29 after she pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor filed in the United States District Court in Newark, New Jersey. The eight-time Grammy winner, who is currently free on a $150,000 unsecured bond, is scheduled to be sentenced on November 27.
Nathan Hochman, the lawyer of Lauryn Hill, said that the singer planned to pay back the tax returns worth $818,000 from 2005, $222,000 from 2006 and $761,000 from 2007. Aside from her tax returns, the troubled singer also faces $75,000 in fines.
In a lengthy post on her Tumblr page earlier in June, Lauryn Hill — who first gained fame and millions of dollars as the lead singer of The Fugees — responded to the charges against her, claiming that she originally wanted to leave the mainstream society in protest against its “climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism.”
Hill wrote: “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.”
She went on, writing, “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.”
The soul singer cites the safety and well-being of her family as a reason she failed to pay her tax returns, as little Zion, 15, Selah, 13, Joshua, 10, John, 9, Sarah, 4 and one-year-old Micah will suffer the consequences if their mother ends up serving time in jail.
Back in 1998, Lauryn Hill released one solo album — the critically-acclaimed “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and then suddenly disappeared from the public eye to raise her six children, five of whom she had with Rohan, the son of reggae legend Bob Marley.
After over ten years of being together, the 39-year-old is now engaged to supermodel Isabeli Fontana despite only a short time of courtship.
Meanwhile, Lauryn Hill has been making a lot of appearances at concerts, including the Openair Frauenfeld Festival in Switzerland last month, as well as the yearly Wawa Welcome America concert in Philadelphia. The talented singer also found herself in a legal battle after her former fashion consultant accused her of stealing clothes.
Back in 2011, Company Via Davia Vintage alleged that Lauryn HIll took the majority of a “wardrobe of high fashion items” from them after they had an agreement to provide them for the singer on her 2007 tour of Europe.
Hill was also sued in relation to her Euro tour for harassment and unpaid wages by Jay Gore, a guitarist in her band, who claimed that she would insult the band while he toured with the singer. Part of the said lawsuit stated: “After shows, Hill would demand that the musicians and road support personnel attend meetings where she would engage in a person-by-person critique and berating.”
Early in her career, Hill established her reputation as an actress in “Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit,” and then as the frontwoman of the hip-hop group The Fugees. In 1998, she launched her solo career with the release of the critically successful album and the 19 million-seller, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” The album earned Hill five Grammy Awards, including the coveted Album of the Year and Best New Artist.
Following the success of her debut album, Lauryn co-produced the commercially successful “Supernatural” for Carlos Santana in 1999, for which she grabbed yet another Grammy award for Album of the Year. This made her the only female artist to win two album of the year Grammys consecutively, setting a record for most album of the year wins by a female artist (tied with Norah Jones). Shortly after this, Hill mainly dropped out of the public eye, in part due to her displeasure with fame and the music industry. After a four-year hiatus, she released “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0,” a live recording of “deeply personal songs” mostly performed solo using an acoustic guitar.
July 3rd, 2012 by faye
Singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill faces three years in prison after pleading guilty to her tax evasion case.
According to reports, the 37-year-old New Jersey native pleaded guilty to not paying federal taxes on $1.8 million she earned over the course of three years. It is said that she could face up to three years behind bars and at least $75,000 in fines when the singer was sentenced back in November.
Moments before she admitted to her tax evasion case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Shipp asked her if anyone — directly or indirectly — forced her to enter the guilty plea. The eight-time Grammy winner paused for a long time before saying, “Directly, no, but indirectly, yes.” Lauryn Hill consulted her attorney, Nathan Hockman, before saying “No” when the judge asked her the question for the second time.
“Ms. Hill is very particular about language,” Hockman said. “Language is very important to Ms. Hill.”
The singer’s attorney added that she had been the target of the federal government for the tax evasion case due to her celebrity status.
“There are many people in society who fail to file their taxes on time who only face civil liability,” Lauryn Hill’s attorney said. “They chose Ms. Hill in particular because of who she was.”
Hockman added that Hill planned to pay back the taxes she owes.
Lauryn Hill looked a bit confused when Judge Shipp ordered her to undergo mental health counseling as directed by the pre-trial intervention services. Through her attorney, the singer asked the judge to explain further what he meant when he said it was “directed.”
“I want to make sure you understand that term,” Shipp said.
“I don’t understand that term,” Lauryn Hill responded.
It was not clear why the court directed that counseling is required for Lauryn Hill on her tax evasion case, and the judge refused to elaborate the matter further.
Lauryn Hill admitted that she failed to pay taxes on about $818,000 earned in 2005; $222,000 in 2006 and $761,000 in 2007. The multi-awarded singer owns four corporations — Creations Music Inc., Boogie Tours Inc., L.H. Productions 2001 Inc. and Studio 22 Inc. Hill gets most of her income from royalties of the film and recording industries.
Earlier this month, Lauryn Hill posted a lengthy explanation through a personal website about her tax evasion case and the reason why she failed to pay her taxes, saying that she withdrew from society to keep herself and her family safe. She also condemned pop culture’s “climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism.”
“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!” Lauryn Hill wrote.
The singer is not the first celebrity to be entangled in a tax evasion case. Al Pacino, Lindsay Lohan and Martha Stewart are among others who have been cited for failing to pay federal taxes.
Lauryn Hill became famous as a member of the Fugees in the 90s. her solo debut album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” sold more than ten million copies when it was released in 1998. This album also won her five Grammy awards. Since then, her public appearances and musical output gradually went down.
Hill released only one other album and had an appearance on a few singles. She drastically retreated from the public eye to raise her six children. Rohan Marley, son of reggae icon Bob Marley, is father to five of her children.
Hockman said that in order to repay the government the money she owes, Lauryn Hill will need to amp up her work schedule. This coming fourth of July, she will have a performance in Philadelphia and will continue her tour regularly over the preceding months.
The attorney of the singer requested the court to extend the sentencing date of Hill until January to give her ample time to gather the money she needs to “make the government whole.” Judge Shipp initially proposed a sentencing date in early October, then agreed to a late November sentencing as a form of compromise.
“Ms. Hill is touring for no other reason than that she is a musician,” Hockman added. “She will use some of the money earned to pay off what she owes.”