Grammy Award-winning singer Lauryn Hill has not released an album since 2002 but she may soon break her recording hiatus when she lives up to the $1 million for 5 songs deal she recently signed with her former record label, Sony Music. By cashing in on the new mega deal, the 37-year-old R'n'B star stands to escape prison time for the tax evasion charges she had been facing since last year.
The former The Fugees frontwoman was supposed to be sentenced after pleading guilty of failing to pay taxes on the $1.8 million she earned from 2005 to 2007. But the federal court judge deciding her case postponed it in light of the lucrative deal, allowing her until May 6 to pay off her remaining tax liability of $504,000.
"This is not someone who stands before the court penniless," U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo said about Hill, whom she expects will be able to pay her tax liabilities or risk jail time. Hill's attorney, Nathan Hochman, who is seeking probation for the mother of six, reveas that Hill's planning to take out a loan to pay off her tax bill, since Hill has yet to write or record any of the five new songs she has committed to do.
The judge also scolded Hill for not making progress on her tax debt, emphasizing that "this is a criminal matter. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been no effort here to pay these taxes."