Singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill is facing up to three years in prison for tax evasion if she does not pay the $500,000 she owes in federal and state income taxes within the next two weeks.
Hill was first arrested in 2012 after failing to file any income taxes from 2005 through 2007, reports Business Insider. She pleaded guilty to the charges last year, but her sentencing was postponed this week until early May to allow her to pay restitution.
In a statement she posted on her website, Hill admitted that she intentionally failed to pay taxes, but said she was justified because of her hard work and selflessness.
“Having put the lives and needs of other people before my own for multiple years, and having made hundreds of millions of dollars for certain institutions, under complex and sometimes severe circumstances, I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance,” Hill said.
“I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period,” she continued. “Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution. My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes. This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.”
Hill, who is best known for her multiplatinum album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and her work with The Fugees, earned $1.8 million between 2005 and 2007.