Lauryn Hill Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion, Faces Prison Time

Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill is facing three years behind bars after pleading guilty to tax evasion.

According to TMZ, the Fugees frontwoman told a judge on Friday that she intentionally failed to file tax returns from 2005, 2006, and 2007, when she earned more than $1.8 million. In addition to prison time, she could be hit with a $75,000 fine.

When the judge asked Hill if she “intentionally and willingly” failed to file the returns, she replied, “Yes.”

She was released on $150,000 bail and will be sentenced in November.

In a previous letter posted online, Hill defended her actions, claiming to have removed herself and her family from society during those three years in order to “keep them safe, healthy, and free from danger.”

“For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground,” she wrote. “I kept my life relatively simple, even after huge successes, but it became increasingly obvious that certain indulgences and privileges were expected to come at the expense of my free soul, free mind, and therefore my health and integrity.”

Photo credit: Splash News

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85 Comments

  1. #RihannaNAVi

    Oh my god noooooo D’:

    [Reply]

    MinajRules2012 Reply:

    @#RihannaNAVi, She might as well go to jail. She’s not an artist anymore. She looks a mess, omg what did she wear to court. Judge should have locked her up on the spot wearing that mess to court. Wow. What as female rap gone to, all these bitches have criminal records, NOT Queen Minaj!!!!

    [Reply]

    bamielovesbreezy Reply:

    @MinajRules2012, u r just a dumbo

    [Reply]

    INCAS Reply:

    @MinajRules2012, what is with your c*ntish behaviour??

    [Reply]

    Vigilant Reply:

    @MinajRules2012, shut up…Queen minaj…Barbie wannabes!

    [Reply]

    MinajRules2012 Reply:

    @#RihannaNAVi, And this bitch looks like something from The Color Purple for real. WHY Lauryn, just why? Lmao!!!! Man, just lock this has been up NOW!!

    [Reply]

    SMH at your life Reply:

    @MinajRules2012, if you dont shut your bitch ass up….

    [Reply]

  2. kwayzee

    noooooo :((((

    [Reply]

    LAURYN Reply:

    @kwayzee,

    I WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE F-CK ARE ALL THESE ARTISTS TO BACK A FELLOW ARTIST? EVEN IF SHE NEVER WANTED MY HELP, I WOULD PAY THAT SH-T FOR HER. SHE GAVE A LOT OF US THE WILL TO LIVE WITH HER MUSIC! I THINK SHE HONESTLY NEVER HAD THE MONEY.

    [Reply]

    TJ Reply:

    @LAURYN, It wasn’t that Lauryn wasn’t able to pay her taxes, it was that she just wouldn’t pay them (according to her excuse). If that’s the case, I don’t see why anyone should pay for her. Everyone has to pay taxes, it’s the law and if you don’t there are repercussions…

    [Reply]

  3. DK

    HAAAAHAAAA….ARREST THAT BIOTCHH,HOEE GOT 10 CHILDREN,SHE BREED TOO MUCH,LOCK HER 4 LIFE,TUPID THUG

    [Reply]

    Laughing Hard Reply:

    @DK, you are a complete idiot..I hope after you read this..you choke and subsequently pass on from this dimension

    [Reply]

    Republicans buy elections. Look for Romney to win with a billion against Obama. Reply:

    @Laughing Hard, COSIGN!

    [Reply]

    MinajRules2012 Reply:

    @DK, Agreed! This bitch is TRAGIC!!!! All these damn kids with 9 baby daddies she should have paid those taxes. Trash bag.

    [Reply]

  4. jsk

    Dk you should be ashamed.. Her kids will have no mom with the upcoming time. SAD!

    [Reply]

    DK Reply:

    @jsk, SO WHAT? SHES A FRAUD….SHE DESERVES NO SYMPATHY

    [Reply]

    Laughing Hard Reply:

    @DK, ok… just die

    [Reply]

  5. Sonny Jones

    Lauryn Hill is the New Aged Rosa Parks and Rodney King. She Fights for what she Believes in, and admits to her intentional Insurrection. This is why I Love her….this is why she is one of thee Greatest Artist Alive.

    [Reply]

    Mrunhateable Reply:

    @Sonny Jones, What are u talking about?? Rosa parks fought for our civil rights. Lauryn hill just decided she didn’t want to pay her taxes. You know the same taxes EVERYONE including you have to pay. I like ms hill too but why is she a freedom fighter for not paying her taxes?? U think anyone would call u the same if u decided to stop paying taxes? No.

    [Reply]

    OpD2 Reply:

    @Mrunhateable,some people is just plain gas it,s obvious that sonny jones don’t know what the f-ck he/she is talking about,i am glad you address it Mrunhateable.

    [Reply]

    DK Reply:

    @Sonny Jones, LOL…TAX EVASION IS SOMEHOW AN ACT OF HEROISM….SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST PLAIN DUMB

    [Reply]

    Laughing Hard Reply:

    @DK, bruh kill yourself..your a worthless

    [Reply]

    TEAM QUEEN B Reply:

    @Sonny Jones, i understand what u mean. obviously some aren’t enlightened enough to understand what lauryn meant by her blog earlier last month. She is fighting for equality and artistic freedom. she is in a position to open eyes. Her record label is sending her to jail for the same reasons they sent lil kim, not selling out.

    [Reply]

    Mrunhateable Reply:

    @TEAM QUEEN B,

    Ok, at the end of day, the IRS does not discriminate or base taxes off of “artistic freedom”. The IRS could give a damn what a record label did to you. Like I said, I like ms hill I do, but it’s very black and white. You make money, you pay taxes like everyone in the USA. Why is it ok for lauryn not to pay taxes because she’s talented??

    [Reply]

    DK Reply:

    @TEAM QUEEN B, freedom through evasion of tax? wow,

    [Reply]

    TJ Reply:

    @TEAM QUEEN B, Seriously? Lauryn’s record label didn’t tell her NOT to pay her taxes, just like Kim’s record label didn’t tell her to LIE in court. They went/are going to jail because they made stupid decisions & broke the law. If Rihanna, Beyonce or Nicki sat and lied in court or didn’t pay taxes and were faced with prison time, you wouldn’t be blaming it on the record label, you would call them dumb & say they deserved it. Stop trying to blame the stupid & irresponsible actions of your favorite artists on some conspiracy or the Illuminati.

    [Reply]

    mon Reply:

    @Sonny Jones, go lauryn she is fighting for our freedom weather yall realize it or not we DO NOT i repeat DO NOT have to pay taxes yall blind sheep need to look up the consitution og the united states and read what it says about taxes this is nothin but a ploy by the illumanti to make her their slave again so GO Ms.HILL!!!!

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    @mon, hahaha u r so dumb. It is called the 16th ammendment and anyone that thinks this crazy women is “fighting” for them in anyway is completely retarded

    [Reply]

    Republicons buy elections. Look for Romney to win with a billion dollars against Obama. Reply:

    @Sonny Jones, COSIGN!

    [Reply]

    daderg Reply:

    @Sonny Jones, i 100% agree with you..its sad that these kids still sleeping smh

    [Reply]

    lol Reply:

    @Sonny Jones, I hope you’re joking. Don’t even try to make that comparison. There are tons of people who evade taxes. They do it to save money, not help the World dumbs

    [Reply]

  6. ladyb

    Oh SHIT! Lauryn baby…O_o

    [Reply]

  7. Brittany

    That’s her fault and I don’t feel sorry for her

    [Reply]

  8. Will

    Lauren was just trying to protect her family. Im telling you the industry is very evil, devilish and will try to demolish you little by little especially if you have had the amount of success that Lauryn Hill has had. The Illuminati is very much real. They killed Heath Ledger and Whitney Houston by mind controlling them with drugs and surrounding them with horrible people. This is something Lauren has been avoiding for all these years thats why she hasnt dropped another album she knows the deal.

    [Reply]

    jacq Reply:

    @Will,

    I don’t even think YOU know the deal. Instead of trying to find conspiracies to blame, look for the logic in human nature.

    Fame kills.

    [Reply]

    DK Reply:

    @Will, WE STILL HAVE PEOPLE BELIEVING IN ILLUMINATI? MIND CONTROL? SOME SECRET ENTITY? DAMN,THIS JUST PROVES THAT THERE IS NO EVOLUTION.U GOTTA BE THE SADDEST PERSON ON EARTH

    [Reply]

    WizKid Reply:

    @Will,

    Here we go with this Illuminati crap again. If the Illuminati existed what would they have to gain from putting Lauryn Hill in jail for not paying taxes? Let me guess you saw a Youtube video that said so? Why would they kill Heath Ledger? For what? Im sure they could have found someone more famous if that was the case. Brad pitt, tom cruise, etc. I love Lauryn just like everyone else, but she put out 1 album over 10 years ago. Who cares? If the Illuminati existed im sure they would have bigger fish to fry.

    [Reply]

    AAA Reply:

    @Will, …..what comic book are you reading from??, and yes the industry is shady, but its not no marvel script crap your talking about, calm down the new spiderman comes out soon

    [Reply]

    Jerm! Reply:

    @Will, sir! please look up the definition and history of the Illuminati. you sound like a complete fool.

    [Reply]

    Trev Reply:

    @Will, the illuminati does exist…but this issue just isn’t that deep…she didn’t pay her taxes because she didn’t feel she needed to…idk what was on her biscuit because everyone pays taxes in this country…she is no different…as great as she is she has a huge ego that is rather disgusting and now she’s in this position…smh keep ya head up Lauryn

    [Reply]

  9. Thecool

    This is so sad. But on another note she looks good

    [Reply]

  10. Hip-Hop Fiend

    Thats messed up… Rather see Chris Brown in jail… But you gotta pay your damn taxes, I wonder who gonna watch her Jamacian Babies why she in she jail cuz the Bob Marley dudes she be sleeping with look like bums.

    [Reply]

    Neickha Reply:

    @Hip-Hop Fiend, heard he’s got more than one wife too.

    [Reply]

  11. Laughing Hard

    Lauryn wtf? atleast you couldve lied to the judge..Imm pray for you sister..that was not a well planned move..smh

    [Reply]

  12. YMCMINAJ

    Got what she deserved. How dare she put herself above the rest of us? Egotistical much? We all pay our taxes, so cry me a RIVERRRR.

    [Reply]

    OpD2 Reply:

    @YMCMINAJ,way are you haters trying so hard to give nicki and team minaj a bad name,put in nicki are team minaj in yall names f-cking inposter,you obviously did this so fellow haters like you run on here see your comment and start to bash nicki and team minaj for no reason,you f-cking scumbags will do anything to try and give nicki a bad rep.

    [Reply]

  13. DRB

    Honestly, this was just stupid. Firstly, there’s no legitimate reason that she should have avoided filing for 3 years. Now, I’m sure she has 2 million lying around to pay back. If for whatever reason she doesn’t, release a damn album and you’re fine.

    [Reply]

  14. coolio

    damn…lauryn why? I was excited for her comeback and now this. Jeeez ruined my whole day :(

    [Reply]

  15. OpD2

    she can’t go to jail,this is f-ck up.

    [Reply]

  16. DrunkenMinaj

    Awwww I love Lauryn. I commend her for having the courage enough to admit to it but I really hope she doesn’t have to be in Jail for the next 3 years.

    [Reply]

  17. Jordan Gabriel

    As much as I love Lauryn Hill, I don’t see how not filing her tax returns would protect her family. She made good money, it’s her duty as a US citizen to pay tax. It would definitely be sad for her and her children if she had to serve time in jail but the law is the law. I admire the fact that she admits she did it though.

    [Reply]

  18. TeamLilKimforever

    awww this is so damn sad man i hope she go on tour with kim eve and missy before she go but haters stop hating cause she might be broke but she is better than your favorite new rap star love her

    [Reply]

  19. shakeLIFE

    get off ur high horse Lauryn you good n well know that collabo with Ms Minaj could’ve save your life fa real…damn this is pathetic

    [Reply]

  20. mon

    go lauryn she is fighting for our freedom weather yall realize it or not we DO NOT i repeat DO NOT have to pay taxes yall blind sheep need to look up the consitution og the united states and read what it says about taxes this is nothin but a ploy by the illumanti to make her their slave again so GO Ms.HILL!!!!

    [Reply]

  21. AAA

    I guarantee someone is gonna come On here and blame Nicki minaj for no reason or mention her for no relevant reason lol, but anyway she will be alright, she’s strong….not like she didnt know what was coming

    [Reply]

  22. Soaring

    Lol y’all are funny. Lauryn Hill isn’t Jesus, she has to pay her taxes just like the rest of us. How is refusing to do so an act of valor to protect her children? Child please. She’s not above anyone. She deserves what she gets.

    [Reply]

  23. Jerm!

    Lauryn Hill, i love you boo, but you’re dead wrong. Should’ve paid those taxes, think about your kids in all of this! OAN: she looks stunning!

    [Reply]

  24. @Cornell_Antwoin

    SHE BETTER BE AT EVERY RED CARPET EVENT AND AWARDS SHOW UNTIL THE DAY OF HER SENTENCING…

    [Reply]

  25. MinajRules2012

    Man she looks a mess!! WTF Happend to this lady. She USED To be so talented.

    [Reply]

  26. Idgaf

    There are college students that work part time jobs and pay their taxes, while going to school busting their butts everyday. This was just plain dumb. She didn’t want to pay them just because she didn’t want to give up the money. Simple. Now she’s gonna be free and locked up. I hope it was worth it.

    [Reply]

  27. dodo

    good for her.. then she’ll come out with an album about her serving time. is that how it goes…

    [Reply]

  28. The corporate tax enacted go to jail too.

    I don’t believe for a minute that Lauryn evaded paying her taxes for 3 years just to protect her kids. She did this to make a statement. She is making a revolutionary statement that is being televised. White tax evaders may just pay a fine but black tax evaders get locked away in the pen. Wesley hold ur head up. Two different standards set, 2012 don’t make a difference from 1960s and b 4 on tax like color do.

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    @The corporate tax enacted go to jail too., Please cite one example where similar levels of tax evasion resulted in different penalties? Stop trying to make everything a race issue, get over it…”revolutionary statement” good joke

    [Reply]

  29. Lauren

    Wow, Lauryn! You’re killing me, but you damn sure ain’t doing it softly!

    [Reply]

  30. Taylor

    How some of y’all are honestly saying that she is helping y’all by not paying taxes baffles me. When your kids go to school everyday, who do you think is paying the teachers to show up? When ppl break into your home, who do you think pays for the police to come out to your house? When ppl shoot and kill your friends/family members, who do you think pays to put those killers behind bars so you can sleep a little better at night? When you get cancer or aids, where do you think the money for research for treatments to prolong your life comes from? Who do you think pays the military to protect your country? TAX PAYERS!!! Not paying your taxes is not a “revolutionary statement” it’s selfish, pathetic & ILLEGAL! Y’all will sit and complain about healthcare then praise Lauryn for not paying taxes? FOH. If you’re saying it’s okay to not pay taxes, let everyone stop paying them and you’ll see just how much that “helps” you.

    [Reply]

  31. TRA

    First, it was Wesley Snipes, now it’s Lauryn Hill. It is sad to see famous black actors and singers getting locked up because they didn’t pay their taxes like they were suppose to.

    [Reply]

  32. BEDSTUYFLY

    omg no

    [Reply]

  33. Nina

    I love Lauryn Hill, but tax evasion does NOT equal “artistic freedom”. If she didn’t have the money, then it’s slightly different, but she intentionally chose to avoid paying tax. I can’t believe some of you (e.g. Sonny Jones!) think that what she did was alright- I bet you’re the fools who also scream illuminati if you see a triangle in a goddamn music video! There are so many people with children, who work several hours of the day, & still struggle to pay the bills. Frankly, she isn’t better than anyone else, and could have fought for ‘artistic freedom’ in many other ways. It’s sad because her children are the ones who will suffer the most.

    [Reply]

  34. DEYSHUN

    Man this is sad. Think about it, Lauryn Hill was on top with her only solo album. People were saying she was going to be in the same level like the Whitney’s, Aretha’s, in terms of how impact on the game. Now u skip ahead, No album in 10+ yrs, Struggling to regain her footing in music and now jail time. I wish her a speedy 3 years.

    [Reply]

    uHoesBuggin Reply:

    @DEYSHUN, I honestly don’t think Lauryn would have to “struggle to regain her footing in music.” If she wanted to release an album at any point in the last 10 years, there are MULTIPLE labels that would have jumped at the opportunity to release her new material. This woman has CHILDREN, and in my opinion, she did the right thing by focusing on raising them and stepping out of the spot light. She’s the type of artist that people are always going to look forward to hearing new music from, so she can never really be irrelevant. As to why she didn’t pay her taxes for 3 years? I really don’t know but she better use this publicity to say she’s got a new album coming!

    [Reply]

  35. J

    This is bizarre. Wyclef should probably be in jail too for his Haiti work aka pocket money for a charity. She used to be great for 1 year but has been a c word every year since. Fugees now completely off iTunes. In the USA we pay out taxes, there is no I choose to live off the grid. Send those people where there is no grid and see how fast they sprint back.

    [Reply]

  36. Sassy

    It’s been a known issue that Lauryn is battling mental issues. I know she can plead and get off.

    [Reply]

  37. Sassy

    Oh, but Lauryn was in her right mind when she told Nicki to stop lying on her. HAHAHA

    [Reply]

    TJ Reply:

    @Sassy, Clearly she wasn’t cuz Nicki wasn’t lying… She was coming out with Nas who was coming out DURING Nicki’s set.

    [Reply]

  38. CAN REAL RnB PLEASE STAND UP

    Her Fault..anyways she looks nice…i wish she still had them dreads an not that from :-/

    [Reply]

  39. kiwi

    Damn Lauryn! :(

    [Reply]

  40. cOMEaTmEbRO

    If your to young to pay for taxes please STFU!

    Nobody knows her reasoning for not paying but i’m pretty sure she has one.

    TMZ reported Bow wow, Lil Kim(which TeamMinaj thought was so damn funny), and many other artist for not paying their taxes, so this isn’t new AT ALL!

    I love Lauryn, but i’m not going to side with her because everybody has to pay taxes sometime in their life, but i’m not going bash her either, because everybody has a reason behind their actions.

    Wish her the best.

    [Reply]

  41. GOOD>YM

    Look at it this way, if she does go to jail she might come out with a sick album

    [Reply]

  42. Leonie

    It’s a shame, but she is still one of the greatest artists, ever. You can never take that away from her.

    [Reply]

  43. lol

    She is crazy. Multiple people have admitted this. She’s a great artist but she needs help.

    [Reply]

  44. jazzy

    all ya’ll some dumb assess for the stupid ass comments ya’ll just uneducated Lauryn knows why she did what she did but you assholes are too dumb to know we are MOORS America is a corporation and we do not gotta pay fuckin taxes I suggest you bitches educate yourselves on the laws of America and the Writs of Freedom study Moorish science fuckin idiots ya’ll assholes don’t even realize that you and your kids are collateral property towards the debt of this bitch called America why ya’ll think her album was called the MISEDUCATION we all need to become more aware and educated/enlightened to what the fuck is goin on before we make silly statements Lauryn HILL is the real deal nah mean!

    [Reply]

  45. Vigilant

    I won’t comment anyone else comment, although the opportunity still presents itself… However, you have to understand she has made a tremendous amount of sacrifices as we tend to do at times, that alter our lives at some point or another… She’s not the only one who hasn’t paid their taxes, and sure won’t be the last… So fall up off her mutt sack… I guess I did go in on previous, but I was going to point someone out in particular. Oh yeah ( has been ) please?!, you never have been, so kindly split your own wig !!!

    [Reply]

  46. Vigilant

    Dang I meant nut sack lmao!!!!

    [Reply]

  47. Anzo

    @minaj rules, u should be arrested on the spot for sounding like an idiot…

    [Reply]

  48. Anzo

    @minaj rules, u should be arrested for sounding like an idiot, u immature piece of shit…

    [Reply]

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