Most people can’t avoid serious tax evasion charges by signing a $1 million record deal, but then again, most people aren’t Lauryn Hill. The former Fugees star has reportedly inked a new deal with Sony Music, which may help in avoiding prison time for three years’ worth of shrugged-off tax returns.
Last year, Hill pleaded guilty for failing to pay federal taxes on $1.8 million earned between 2005 and 2007. On Monday (Apr. 22), a federal judge postponed Hill’s tax evasion sentencing, giving her until May 6 to pay off her liability, which now stands at $504,000 after Hill made a payment of $50,000 late last year.
During Monday’s proceeding in Newark, N.J., however, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser revealed that Hill had signed a new deal with Sony, and was set to receive $1 million for recording five new songs, plus additional money for an entire album’s worth of music, according to the New Jersey. However, Hill has yet to finish writing and recording the new songs.
Judge Madeline Cox took Monday’s proceeding as an opportunity to scold the 37-year-old Hill for failing to make a dent in her tax returns. “This is not someone who stands before the court penniless… Actions speak louder than words,” Cox said.
Hill has not released a new album since 2002’s “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0.” According to Moser, the singer’s 2012 tour did not generate as much revenue as she had hoped for.