News: Ex-Fugees Member Speechless Over Lauryn Hill's Tax Evasion Case, "I'm Bugging! I Can't Believe It!"
Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 2:00PM
Former Fugees member Pras has stepped forward to offer his take on Lauryn Hill's publicized tax evasion woes and the likelihood she is headed to the slammer for a three year jail sentence.
Shocked by the news, Pras said he could not see Hill doing time in relation to the $1.8 million tax debt case.
"I'm bugging! I can't believe it! I'm sitting here on a plane to L.A. listening to Phil Collins and Philip Bailey "Easy Lover" on my iPod. But I don't believe she'll go to jail, but d*mn bail is 150K?! Zimmerman was about the same. Go figure! ... This is crazy!! [sic]" (Global Grind)
According to reports, Hill could also get hit with $75,000 in fines in addition to having to pay over $1.8 million in tax debt.
Hill's attorney Nathan Hockman said the star had been targeted by the federal government because of her celebrity status. "There are many people in society who fail to file their taxes on time who only face civil liability," Hockman said. "They chose Ms. Hill in particular because of who she was." Hill spoke little at her hearing today and stood attentively with her arms crossed in front of her chest when the judge first addressed her. She appeared in a white button-down shirt, blue blazer and long coral skirt. (Star-Ledger)
She avoided incarceration by posting a hefty bail bond at her Newark, New Jersey federal court appearance on Friday.
Hill, 37, a hip hop singer and rapper best known as a member of the Fugees and for a Grammy-winning 1998 solo album, pleaded guilty to failing to file federal returns between 2005 and 2007, despite an income of more than $1.8 million primarily from film and recording royalties. Her sentencing date was set for sometime in late November. She was released on $150,000 bail. (Reuters)
Earlier this month, Hill released an open statement which addressed her legal dispute.
"Learning from the past, insulating friends and family from the influence of external manipulation and corruption, is far more important to me than being misunderstood for a season! 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! I also embraced my right to resist a system intentionally opposing my right to whole and integral survival. I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period. Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution. My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes. This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family. As this, and other areas of issue are resolved and set straight, I am able to get back to doing what I should be doing, the way it should be done. This is part of that process. To those supporters who were told that I abandoned them, that is untrue. I abandoned greed, corruption, and compromise, never you, and never the artistic gifts and abilities that sustained me. [sic]" (Ms Lauryn Hill Tumblr)
Check out a past Lauryn Hill interview below: