Lauryn Hill Lawsuit: She Knows a Lot More Than She's Letting On

Lauryn Hill faces eviction on top of jail time for evading taxes on income she earned from 2005-2007. Hill is not even close to the first celebrity charged with avoiding taxes, but the timing of her unpaid rent. In a case reflecting calculated financial moves that expose the loopholes in our tax and legal system, the home that she's facing eviction for has already been the center of another lawsuit by the town of South Orange, NJ which claims that she was running a business out of the million-dollar mansion.

Hill is not miles within being the first or most prominent face of celebrity tax evasion, but this seemingly premeditated move by the Grammy-winning artist to stop paying rent on her South Orange, NJ mansion last month coincides with her upcoming sentencing for tax fraud. According to TMZ, her landlord sued her to cough up the rent and her failure to appear in tenancy court this week moves the court towards ruling for her to be legally evicted.

However, Hill does not technically reside in the house. The Irving Ave property in question was already in legal debates with the town suing the landlords and Hill for violating zoning restrictions by running recording sessions and band practices in the home, but maintaining actual residence in one of two other properties owned by the singer in the town.

This is the latest legal and financial misstep for the former Fugees singer, who is to be sentenced on April 22 for her tax evasion charges in 2012. She has been charged with intentionally avoiding paying $1.6 million to the IRS and $440,000 to the State of New Jersey in back taxes on income earned between 2005-2007, and faces up to one year in federal prison and an additional fine of $100,000.

The mother of six explained that she was protecting her family when she chose not to pay taxes, explaining in a lengthy post on her Tumblr page that:

"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 ... 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 made a plea to be put on probation and allowed to continue working to pay off her tax debt, but connecting the dots in this case prove that she's a lot more aware of her legal troubles than she's letting on.

Hill told a crowd in February, 2012 to "Love your artists. When they falter, hold them accountable. But love them," three months before being charged with all three counts of tax fraud. With this latest instance of trying to play the system, let's see if Hill's fans follow her advice when it comes to her.

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Shwetika Baijal

Shwetika is PolicyMic's first columnist and writes for the Millenials and the Media column. She focuses on how the media frames policy and cultural issues, how the media's framing effects public opinion, and in turn how public opinion affects the policies and issues under discussion.

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