Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Singer-rapper Lauryn Hill faces sentencing for tax evasion

Grammy award winning artist Lauryn Hill is scheduled to appear in a federal courtroom on the East Coast Monday for sentencing on tax evasion allegations. The singer-songwriter pled guilty nearly a year ago to intentionally and willingly failing to file tax returns for three years in the mid-2000s. Authorities say that the rapper and singer failed to pay federal taxes for her four corporations from 2005 through 2007.

Hill faces several years of potential prison time related to her guilty pleas in the tax evasion case. In preparation for her hearing, sources say that the singer has filed papers indicating that she intends to seek leniency for the alleged tax evasion. Hill reportedly has made roughly $1.8 million since the mid-2000s. She hopes to receive probation when she is sentenced April 22. She says that she will be in a better position to pay her tax debts if she is allowed to remain out of prison.

In addition to the federal tax evasion charges, a civil judgment reportedly was entered for $446,386 in state court related to New Jersey state income taxes.

However, the financial issues are not the only basis that Hill is expected to argue in her request for leniency. The rapper reportedly dropped out of the spotlight in the early 2000s. She says that she dropped out of the limelight due to personal issue. But sources say that the rapper and her family were subjected to serious threats. The court records do not specify the nature of the threats that Hill experienced. But, she says that her failure to file tax returns was related to the threats and other forms of manipulation that she was experienced during those years.

Let's face it-- few Americans want to deal with the Internal Revenue Service. However, when agents from the Internal Revenue Service suspect a person has failed to file a tax return, it is important for that person to consider seeking the advice of legal counsel.

As allegations increase to a failure to file returns for more than one year, the situation only becomes more dire. A person suspected of a crime has the right to representation even before any criminal charges are filed, and a defense lawyer may be able to resolve issues before a case is referred to prosecutors.

Source: Newsday, "Lauryn Hill says blame tax evasion on threats," Frank Lovece, April 16, 2013

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