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 New Jersey’s Star-Ledger. 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.