Singer Lauryn Hill’s failure to pay federal income taxes for three years has earned her a three-month prison sentence.
Hill pleaded guilty last year to three counts of failing to file tax returns on more than $1.8 million between 2005 and 2007.
The Grammy-winning artist appeared Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, for sentencing.
Hill must also pay penalties and taxes still owed, a $60,000 fine, serve a year on probation and possibly three months of home confinement.
She must report to prison on July 8, unless her lawyer files an appeal of the sentence.
The income in question was mostly from music and film royalties paid to companies she owned between 2005 and 2008, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
“Although Hill pleaded guilty to charges specifically related to those tax years, her sentence also takes into account additional income and tax losses for 2008 and 2009 — when she also failed to file federal returns — along with her outstanding tax liability to the state of New Jersey, for a total income of approximately $2.3 million and total tax loss of approximately $1,006,517,” the prosecutor said.
Hill’s lawyer, Nathan Hochman, told CNN before the sentencing that, “Ms. Hill has not only now fully paid prior to sentencing her taxes which are part of her criminal restitution, but she has additionally fully paid her federal and state personal taxes for the entire period under examination through 2009.”
Hill revealed in a message posted to her Tumblr account last month that she’s been working on new music.
“It has been reported that I signed a new record deal, and that I did this to pay taxes. Yes, I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released,” Hill wrote. “And yes, I am working on new music.”
Her fans have been waiting for new music from here since her 1998 solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”
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Los Angeles Times photo: Lauryn Hill performs at the LA Rising festival in 2011.