On Feb. 1 a jury found Wesley Snipes
guilty of three misdemeanor counts of willfully failing to file tax returns, but acquitted him of the more serious felony conspiracy and tax fraud charges and three additional counts of failure to file. The sentencing came at the end of a daylong hearing in which lawyers for Snipes argued for leniency while federal prosecutors sought the maximum penalty possible.
On Thursday the sentence was handed down by Judge William Terrell Hodges of Federal District Courts for Snipes to spend three years in prison
for willfully failing to file tax returns. One year for each count, to be served consecutively
, and an additional year of probation.
In a prepared statement, Wesley Snipes said: “I’m very sorry for my mistakes. I acknowledge that I have failed myself and others.”
But in the statement, which ran to nearly 10 minutes, he never mentioned the words “tax” or “taxes.”
Judge Hodges allowed Wesley Snipes to remain free on bond until summoned by either the United States Marshals Service or the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Hopefully during this time Wesley Snipes can pull one of those daring escapes like he did in U.S. Marshals. If not, well, maybe he'll finally get to have that boxing match with Ving Rhames
or *ulp* he may end up having to break out one of his older outfits.
The case was the most prominent tax prosecution since Leona Helmsley was convicted of tax fraud in 1989. Snipes must pay up to $17 million in back taxes plus penalties and interest. He tried to make a down payment on his taxes before sentencing; his legal team offered Judge Hodges three checks totaling $5 million. Judge Hodges refused the checks, saying he did not have the authority to accept them. Prosecutors also declined to accept the checks. An Internal Revenue Service employee eventually accepted the checks on behalf of the Treasury Department.
Oooooohh. Looks like the I.R.S is being all hardcore
. Wanted to make an example Wesley Snipes to let us know there will be NO
preferential treatment. If you owe them money they will throw your ass in jail, even if you are
Oh, thanks for reminding me, Willie. I meant...even if you are a non-white