NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months behind bars for failing to pay taxes, a judge ruled on Monday.
She was also sentenced to three additional months of home confinement.
Hill’s attorney said the Grammy Award-winning singer had paid her overdue taxes before she appeared in federal court in Newark for sentencing for tax evasion.
She pleaded guilty last year to not paying taxes on $1.8 million earned from 2005 to 2007. Two weeks ago, a judge said Hill had paid only $50,000 of more than $500,000 she owed in federal taxes.
Attorney Nathan Hochman said in an email Monday that Hill recently paid more than $970,000 to satisfy state and federal tax liabilities.
During a forceful statement to the judge, Hill, 37, explained she had always meant to eventually pay the taxes but was unable to during a period of time when she dropped out of the music business.
She faced up to a year in prison on each of three counts. Her attorney had sought probation.
Hill said she recently signed a recording contract with Sony. Citing her legal deadline, she made a song available on iTunes over the weekend.
The South Orange resident got her start with The Fugees and began her solo career in 1998 with the critically acclaimed album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” The album was praised by critics for its incisive lyrics and synthesis of rap and soul. It sold 8 million copies.
She then largely disappeared from public view to raise her six children, five of whom she had with Rohan Marley, the son of famed reggae singer Bob Marley.
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