Wesley Snipes May Be Headed to Prison
The star of such films as Blade and White Men Can't Jump was convicted in 2008 for failure to file federal income tax returns for the years 1999 to 2004, but was acquitted of the more serious charges of tax fraud and conspiracy. Snipes claimed at trial, among other things, to be a tax denier. Snipes argued that he believed he was not required to pay income taxes after attending a paid seminar at the home of Eddie Kahn, who had previously served jail time in the 1980s for tax evasion and advised him that it was legal to not pay your taxes. Despite his arguments, a jury found him guilty of tax evasion. Immediately following his trial, Snipes vowed to appeal his sentence.True to his word, Snipes raised several appeals over the course of the past two years. He initially sought to appeal his sentence, claiming that it was "unreasonable" under the circumstances. A federal court denied his appeal.
Snipes launched his most recent appeal this summer, claiming judicial misconduct. Among other allegations, Snipes claimed that he had been denied his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights at trial.
A federal judge, U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges, denied this recent appeal and appeared to put an end to Snipes' laundry list of complaints about the trial, noting in his Order: "The Defendant Snipes had a fair trial; he has had a full, fair, and thorough review of his conviction and sentence by the Court of Appeals; and he has had a full, fair, and thorough review of his present claims, during all of which he has remained at liberty. The time has come for the judgment to be enforced."
Despite the harsh words from the judge in his 17-page Order, it appears that Snipes is planning another appeal. His defense attorney has promised to "exhaust all plausible avenues in this matter."
In the meantime, Snipes has been ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons, though, despite rumors to the contrary, Snipes is not currently in prison nor has he been given a definite report date.