The sentencing of eight-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill was
postponed Monday, giving the singer two more weeks to make good on a
promise to pay off a $504,000 tax bill to Uncle Sam.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo granted the adjournment after voicing disappointment that Hill, who is seeking to avoid a possible prison term, had failed to fulfill a pledge to pay the overdue taxes before her sentencing.
Hill, 37, of South Orange, pleaded guilty last June to three counts of failing to file tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007. During that period, the government said, she had more than $1.8 million in income primarily from music and movie royalties.
She faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine on each of the counts.
Hill's attorney, Nathan Hochman, a former assistant attorney general for the Justice Department tax division, said he will ask the judge to spare her prison for a variety of reasons. Among them, he said, is her "long record of charitable accomplishments in the community" and the fact that she is the mother of six children.
According to the charges, Hill earned approximately $818,000 in 2005, $222,000 in 2006 and $761,000 in 2007 through four corporations: Obverse Creations Music Inc., Boogie Tours Inc., L.H. Productions 2001 Inc. and Studio 22 Inc.
Hochman told the judge that Hill has paid $50,000 of the $554,000 she owed the Internal Revenue Service and that the remainder will be paid by her new sentencing date of May 6.
Hill rose to fame as a member of the New Jersey hip-hop group The Fugees.
She launched her solo career in 1998, with the release of the critically acclaimed album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," which netted her five Grammys, including Album of the Year.
She won a second Album of the Year Grammy for co-producing Carlos Santana's "Supernatural" album in 1999, but largely withdrew from the public spotlight in later years.
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