YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A federal judge in Newark today postponed sentencing Lauryn Hill for ducking three years of income tax returns on more than $1.6 million of income to May 6.
The 37-year-old Grammy winner — who was sued for eviction earlier this year by the owner of the South Orange mansion where she lives with her mother and childen — accepted a plea bargain and admitted evading taxes late last June in U.S. District Court in Newark.
Although the conviction technically carries up to a year in prison, Hill needed only to make good with the IRS — including interest, penalties and court costs — by the end of last November.
That covered calendar years 2005, when she admitted that she didn’t pay taxes for she made a reported $818,000, in 2006 ($222,000) or in 2007 ($761,000).
The judge today requested additional information before the sentencing.
Hill’s net worth has been reported at more than $8.7 million from her record sales, tours and investments in Jamaica. Her primary source of income, federal prosecutors in Newark said, are royalties from the recording and film industries.
Hill first came to audience’s attention with the Fugees. Then, in 1998, she released the blockbuster solo album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” which earned five Grammy Awards, including the prestigious Album of the Year and Best New Artist.
But fame turned her away from public performing. After four years out of the spotlight, she did an MTV “Unplugged” gig that produced the live album “No. 2.0.”
Hill has done soundtrack recordings and mixtapes, while performing here and there at festivals, in recent years.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited special agents with IRS-Criminal Investigation with the work leading to the charges. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra L. Moser of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
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