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Press Release

Singer And Actress Lauryn Hill Sentenced To Prison For Failing To File Tax Returns For More Than $2.3 Million In Income

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – Lauryn N. Hill, the Grammy-winning singer and actress, was sentenced today to three months in prison and three months of home confinement with electronic monitoring for not reporting more than $2.3 million in income by intentionally failing to file tax returns for five years, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Hill, 37, of South Orange, N.J., previously pleaded guilty to an Information charging her with three counts of failing to file tax returns with the IRS. The sentence was imposed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In addition to being an entertainer, Hill owned and operated four sub-chapter S corporations, and her primary source of income was royalties from the recording and film industries. During 2005, 2006 and 2007, Hill received more than $1.8 Million in income from those sources, but didn’t file her tax returns for those years.

Although Hill pleaded guilty to charges specifically related to those tax years, her sentence also takes into account additional income and tax losses for 2008 and 2009 – when she also failed to file federal returns – along with her outstanding tax liability to the state of New Jersey, for a total income of approximately $2.3 million and total tax loss of approximately $1,006,517.

In addition to the prison term and home confinement, Judge Arleo sentenced Hill to serve a year of supervised release and ordered her to pay a $60,000 fine in addition to her restitution to the IRS. Judge Arleo also ordered Hill to fully cooperate with the IRS, including payment of outstanding interest and penalties on her tax obligations. 

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra L. Moser of the U.S.
Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.


Defense counsel: Nathan J. Hochman Esq., Santa Monica, Calif.
Updated March 18, 2015