A federal judge postponed famed singer Lauryn Hill's tax evasion sentencing until May as the troubled entertainer tries to make good on her tax obligations.
Hill pleaded guilty last year to not paying federal taxes on $1.8 million earned from 2005 to 2007. At that time, her attorney said she would pay restitution by the time of her sentencing. It was revealed Monday in court that Hill has managed to pay only $50,000 of the $554,000 total tax bill.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo said that it was not the best practice to use her potential earnings to correct her current tax situation.
"This is not someone who stands before the court penniless," Arleo said to Hill's attorney, Nathan Hochman. "This is a criminal matter. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been no effort here to pay these taxes."
Arleo rescheduled the sentencing for May 6.
Authorities have charged that Hill has not filed her taxes for the years 2005 to 2007 - an offense that can carry a penalty of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine for each count.
The singer is said to owe about $1.8 million in taxes from the past. She, however, has claimed that she did not pay because she received numerous threats telling her not to pay.
"As my potential to work, and therefore earn freely, was being threatened, I did whatever needed to be done in order to insulate my family from the climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism that I was surrounded by," Hill wrote in a statement last year.
She added, "This was absolutely critical while trying to find and establish a new and very necessary community of healthy people, and also heal and detoxify myself and my family while raising my young children."
She has asked the court to keep in consideration that she has received threats in the past.
The singer has urged the court not to imprison her, saying it would be easier for her to pay the back taxes "if she is placed on probation and continued to work."