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Singer Lauryn Hill charged in IRS probe

Eight-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill has been charged with failing to file income tax returns for several years with the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey announced yesterday, The Associated Press reports.

Hill earned more than $1.6 million during 2005, 2006 and 2007, the three years that she failed to file returns, federal prosecutors said. Hill's primary source of income is royalties from the recording and film industries, prosecutors said. She also owns and operates four corporations: Creations Music Inc., Boogie Tours Inc., L.H. Productions 2001 Inc. and Studio 22 Inc., according to court papers.

"Ms. Hill has been fully cooperating with the IRS's investigation for a number of years," her attorney, Nathan Hochman, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News.

The 37-year-old Hill got her start with The Fugees and began her solo career in 1998 with the critically acclaimed album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." The album, praised by critics for its incisive lyrics and synthesis of rap and soul, sold 8 million copies. Hill was pronounced the face of "The Hip-Hop Nation" by Time magazine.

She then largely disappeared from public view to raise her six children, five of whom she had with Rohan Marley, the son of famed reggae singer Bob Marley.

Hill lives in South Orange, a suburb just west of Newark, and attended Columbia High School in Maplewood.

She is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate in Newark on June 29. Hill faces a year in prison and a $100,000 fine on each of the three misdemeanor counts. She was charged in a criminal information, a document that often precedes a guilty plea.

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