Wesley Snipes Sentenced – 36 Months in PRISON – for Failure to File Tax Returns!

On February 1st Wesley Snipes was found not guilty of federal tax fraud and conspiracy charges. However, he was convicted on three counts of failing to file tax returns. Seems like it’s no big deal – huh? Not according to the government. They may has missed a criminal tax fraud conviction, but they did want a piece of Wesley Snipes for the attitude he took in the whole scheme

In their sentencing documentation the government stated the following as they requested Snipes be sentenced to three years in prison and fined $5 million:

For nearly a decade, Snipes has engaged in a campaign of criminal tax conduct combining brazen defiance with insidious concealment. By these means, Snipes has escaped paying more than $15 million in income tax to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and has pursued an intended fraudulent harm to the United States Treasury of more than $41 million.

Well, today the government got at least a part of what they were asking for. Wesley Snipes has been sentenced to federal prison.

In the sentencing trial today recently added co-counsel Carmen Hernandez revealed that Snipes, 45, star of more than 50 films, including the Blade vampire trilogy, had offered in August 2007 to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count and to pay his tax debt as long as he was promised no prison time. Seems that the federal government felt that Snipes was a high profile target and they (IRS and Federal prosecutors) felt that they could win this case. In part they did. However, failing to gain a felony conviction for Snipes was a major disappointment. Likely, for that reason, the government sought the maximum sentence possible for Snipes.

Snipes has a star studded cast of characters there to support his plea for no prison. The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Denzel Washington called him a “mighty oak.”

Woody Harrelson declared that he was honored to call the Orlando-born actor “my brother.”

In addition to Brown, another TV judge, Greg Mathis, chimed in with his opinion that Snipes should not go to prison.

All the exhibits that were presented at the sentencing trial are shown here courtesy of the white collar crime blog.

Snipes’ co-defendants, who were convicted on the felony fraud and conspiracy charges, will also be sentenced. Eddie Ray Kahn faces up to 10 years behind bars, while Douglas P. Rosile could be jailed five to six years.

In the end, when the gavel fell, Judge Hodges ruled that Snipes must serve 36 months in federal prison for his conviction for failure to file!

For some six months now I’ve been reporting on the Wesley Snipes case and long ago predicted the outcome that Wesley Snipes would go to jail. Snipes was not your ordinary taxpayer who was misguided and misinformed. Snipes somehow became convinced that he and others were not required to file and pay. While the federal government missed a conviction on tax fraud charges…they got a big win today with a maximum prison sentence for Snipes.

Looks like Snipes missed the Get Out Of Jail Free card!

QUESTIONS:

  • DO YOU THINK SNIPES SENTENCE IS FAIR?
  • DOES THIS SENTENCE SERVE AS A DETERRENT TO FUTURE TAX PROTESTERS

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!

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13 Responses to Wesley Snipes Sentenced – 36 Months in PRISON – for Failure to File Tax Returns!

  1. Since Mr. Snipes hasn’t committed any serious crime, I don’t understand why his life must be interupted with jail time. There are more serious law breakers than someone not filing taxes. There have been other celebrities with similar or greater tax issues, whom haven’t had to be inprisoned, why can’t probation be the punishment?

  2. Boo Nick says:

    Wesley did wrong and he now has to pay the price.I pay my taxes all the time. I work hard and never think about not paying them. If you think right, you will do what is right.The only people who will uphold him are those who act like him. It’s too bad he had to take that road. Maybe he will learn who he is. Just maybe he will learn he can’t ever be like others.

  3. steve fox says:

    If he was allowed to work he would be making even more money for the tax man. Prison is wrong. While he sits in prison then they make less money from him when working. So they shot them selves in the foot at the same time. It’s just a shame I can’t do anything to get him released. But look forward to his next film.

  4. AJ says:

    I work in law enforcement and there ARE PLENTY of “criminals” that need to be incarcerated!

  5. Kwenoir says:

    First of all up-Chuck, I can sense the cynicism in your article. Apparently, you are glad Mr. Snipes is in prison. Your tone is crass and disrespectful. The sentence, in the face of others who were convicted of tax evasion, is extreme. Mr. Snipes did not evade. Nor did he move his money off shore. 3 misdemeanors does not put you in prison. Obviously they made an example of him. A very bad example. Ah Florida. This states seems to always validate unfairness for some reason.

    • I agree…three misdemeanors should not put you in prison. What Wesley did should. He was not convicted of his true crime…attempting to evade income taxes. So while the crime he was convicted for should perhaps have earned him a lighter sentence, his sentence reflected the depth of his actions.

  6. Michelle Rice says:

    OK! so when is his relaese date and whats next for him?

  7. Mary Lee says:

    Shame on the IRS and federal government in supporting this injustice to imprison actor and martial artist Wesley Snipes. It is clear the decision to make an example of Mr. Snipes is purely racial. Actor Val Kilmer also owes the IRS taxes in the same time period, and is not in prison. Republican presidential candidate Romney admits to off shore accounts to prevent paying US Taxes, eh. Our government is sick, sick, sick.

    • Mary are you serious? Snipes did not abide by the law by not filing his returns. Romney filed and complied with the law. The fact he may use some legal loopholes doesn’t make him a criminal. Snipes is because of his clear violation. Had Snipes filed his returns he would be a free man today.

  8. Congo Natty says:

    No man should ave 2 pay tax.It’s your moneyand u worked hard 4 it.So y should the government get out of it.The government should be giving us money.If was living in america,i would have done the same thing wesley did.The government are devils.I am a rastaman,and i don’t support tax.Go work hard 4 your own moneyand stop trying 2 take mine when cost of living is so high.

  9. Congo Natty says:

    No man should have 2 pay tax.It’s your money and u worked hard 4 it.So y should the government get out of it.The government should be giving us money.If i was living in america,i would have done the same thing wesley did.The government are devils.I am a rastaman,and i don’t support tax.Go work hard 4 your own money and stop trying 2 take mine when cost of living is so high.

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