We mentioned recently that Lauryn Hill faced charges of tax fraud, and her sentencing was about to commence when an extension was granted by the court. Last year she pled guilty for failing to file tax returns to report more than $1.8 million of income received for years 2005 through 2007. Ms. Hill faced possibly three years in prison.
Now, a week or so later, Ms. Hill received her sentence: $60,000 fine, three months in prison, then three months of home confinement. The U.S. magistrate judge was surprisingly lenient on her. Ms. Hill was, of course, represented by competent legal counsel. The government wanted to put Ms. Hill away for 30 months. But the judge referenced Hill’s lack of criminal record, and her prior part repayment of her tax liability. The singer previously paid $504,000 in back taxes to the IRS and $420,000 to the state of New Jersey. She still owes $285,000.
The lesson from this is that even if you evaded paying your taxes and are facing a lot of trouble, qualified legal counsel can make a world of difference. Things could have been a lot worse for the singer. Without counsel Ms. Hill faced 3 years in prison; with counsel, however, she only had to serve a mere 3 month stint. Yahoo news reports that her attorney remarked on the success of the case (despite Ms. Hill’s 3 month prison sentence): “When the government is asking for 36 months and the judge gives three months, I think the judge gave a fair and reasonable sentence.”
If you have committed tax fraud or have avoided the filing and payment of taxes, WE CAN HELP. Call our office today at 800-681-1295 to discuss your options.