Lauryn Hill, Facing Jail Time and $1.8 Million Tax Debt, Pleas for Leniency (Report)

10:30 PM PST 04/15/2013 by THR Staff
Christie Goodwin/Getty Images
Lauryn Hill performing in 2012

The R&B singer, who pled guilty to tax evasion in 2012, says "very real threats to herself and her family" caused her temporary disappearance from society.

Documents show that Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill failed to file tax returns for three years, 2005 through 2007, during which time she earned more than $1.8 million.

Hill already pled guilty to tax evasion in June 2012 and could face prison time -- up to three years. Sentencing is scheduled for April 22, reports TMZ on the eve of tax day for U.S. citizens.

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Curiously, the R&B star and former Fugees member is citing threats to herself and her family as the reason for bailing on the music industry and not meeting her tax obligations for income earned. "She withdrew from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family," the documents reportedly state.

It’s a refrain she’s been singing since before her New Jersey court date last year, when Hill wrote on her website: "I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns!"

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Hill, whose sole studio album, 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, sold more than 8 million copies, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, has been performing more often in recent years. Indeed, in the documents filed, she asks the court to consider that her ability to pay the debt will be expedited if she can earn money and not be behind bars.

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