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  • Lauryn Hill Tax Evasion Case to Be Heard May 6

    Mon, 29 Apr 2013 12:16:17

    Lauryn Hill Tax Evasion Case to Be Heard May 6 - She owes $1.6 million

    Lauryn Hill Photos

    • Lauryn Hill - LOUISVILLE, KY - JULY 22: Lauryn Hill performs in concert at Iroquois Amphitheater on July 22, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.
    • Lauryn Hill - LOUISVILLE, KY - JULY 22: Lauryn Hill performs in concert at Iroquois Amphitheater on July 22, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.
    • Lauryn Hill - LOUISVILLE, KY - JULY 22: Lauryn Hill performs in concert at Iroquois Amphitheater on July 22, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.

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    Singer Lauryn Hill's tax evasion case has been delayed by a New Jersey judge so the elusive and reclusive star can pay back the $1.6 million that she owes. Hill failed to file her returns between 2005 and 2007 and faced up to three years in prison. However, federal judge Madeline Cox Arleo gave Hill extra time to repay her debts, scheduling her next hearing for May 6.

    That was not a move of leniency, though. The judge is being pretty tough, actually.

    The judge 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." So the judge gave her a little more time to pay up.

    Hill's lawyer has taken out a loan against two of her properties so she can resolve her debt troubles.

    Her lawyer said, "I fully expect that by May 3, Ms. Hill will be able to pay back all the restitution she has."

    The eccentric and evasive singer issued the following update:

    "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. And yes, I am working on new music.

    "I’ve remained silent, after an extensive healing process. This has been a 10+ year battle, for a long time played out behind closed doors, but now in front of the public eye. This is an old conflict between art and commerce… free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure. This is about inequity, and the resulting disenfranchisement caused by it. I’ve been fighting for existential and economic freedom, which means the freedom to create and live without someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings.

    "It took years for me to get out of the 'parasitic’ dynamic of my youth, and into a deal that better reflects my true contribution as an artist, and (purportedly) gives me the control necessary to create a paradigm suitable for my needs. I have been working towards this for a long time, not just because of my current legal situation, but because I am an artist, I love to create, and I need the proper platform to do so.

    "The nature of my new business venture, as well as the dollar amount reported, was inaccurate, only a portion of the overall deal. Keep in mind, my past recordings have sold over 50,000,000 units worldwide, earning the label a tremendous amount of money (a fraction of which actually came to me.)

    "Only a completely complicated set of traps, manipulations, and inequitable business arrangements could put someone who has accomplished the things that I have, financially in need of anything. I am one artist who finds value in openly discussing the dynamics within this industry that force artists to compromise or distort themselves and what they do, rather than allowing them to make the music that people need. There are volumes that could (and will) be said. MLH."

    What should be the penalty for Lauryn Hill willfully refusing to pay her taxes?

    —Katie Sheehan
    04.29.13



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