Lauryn Hill Sentenced to 3 Months in Prison for Tax Evasion, Statement Released Comparing Herself to a Slave
Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in prison on Monday for failure to pay taxes over the course of three years.
U.S. Magistrate Madeline Cox Arleo ruled that the Nothing Even Matters singer is to serve three months in federal prison for failing to pay taxes on more than $2 million. Hill was also sentenced to serve three months of home confinement with electronic monitoring after her prison term. She must also serve a year of supervised release and pay a $60,000 fine in addition to paying her tax debt to the IRS.
Hill reacted with indignation to the verdict, comparing her circumstances to that of slavery. Hill said she was being forced to pay taxes and therefore, she was being imprisoned against her will.
"I am a child of former slaves who had a system imposed on them," Hill said. "I had an economic system imposed on me."
Hill also blamed the music industry for why she was not able to pay her taxes. She claimed she was the victim of blackmail threats, but did not give any names or proof of the claims.
"I came to be perceived as a cash cow and not a person," Hill said. "When people capitalize on a persona, they forget there is a person in there."
Hill attempted to avoid serving time in jail with a last minute payment of over $900,000 before Monday's court date. Her attorney shared that she made full restitution.
Hill released a new song, Neurotic Society, on May 3 as part of a comeback bid. Although, she made it clear to her fans that the song was made under duress.
"Here is a link to a piece that I was 'required' to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline," she wrote on her Tumblr.
The U.S. attorney's office said she still owed interest and penalties. Hill was not in full compliance and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser said that Hill was simply feeling sorry for herself.
"She wasn't interested in all those years in paying what she owed," Moser said.
Hill has until July 8 to begin her prison term.
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