Does Race Matter When Celebrities Like Lauryn Hill Face Tax Evasion?

Who Pays the Higher Cost for Tax Evasion, Black or White Celebrities?

After several court appearances involving Lauryn Hill begging the judge for mercy regarding her past inability to pay more than $1 million in taxes, the former Fugees singer was recently sentenced to three months in jail after for tax evasion. But while she, among others, aren’t happy about her spending time in jail over a little scuffle with the IRS, she is not the first celebrity to serve time for failure to share the wealth with Uncle Sam.

As the news has recently been flooded with rappers, singers and actors charged with tax evasion and their repercussions, including Mary J. Blige, Snoop Lion and Nas, decided to take a look at the color of IRS penalties, asking the question, “Do black celebrities go to jail for tax evasion more than Whites?” A juxtaposing photo of Wesley Snipes and Nicholas Cage headlines the article, comparing each man’s punishment for not paying government.

According to the news site, Wesley Snipes owed the IRS $13 million and was sentenced to three years in jail while Nicholas Cage owed the IRS $14 million and only “had to sell his Bavarian castle.”

So the verdict is out, who has to pay the cost?

From comedians to moguls, lists 20 celebrities who have had run-ins with the government over the years, and what they’ve had to do to pay the consequences. And while not taking a verbalized stance on the issue, it’s clear who pays in the end.