Paul L. Caron

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Judge Gives Maximum Three Year Sentence to Wesley Snipes After Defense Hands Judge $5m


Actor Wesley Snipes was sentenced shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday to the maximum term of three years in federal prison on three misdemeanor convictions of failure to file his income taxes. Snipes was also sentenced to one year of supervised release. He was not taken into custody immediately. Instead, the Bureau of Prisons or the U.S. Marshal's Service when notify him when and where to report. His lawyer requested a facility not too far from his family's home in New Jersey, and the judge said he would recommend that.

After a day-long hearing, U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges talked of the importance of deterrence in tax cases and noted that, despite Snipes' apology in court, he had a years-long record of defying the tax laws. No fine was imposed. The judge left that to the civil process. ...

Early in the afternoon, lead Snipes attorney Daniel Meachum deposited three envelopes containing $5 million in checks with the judge. It apparently was meant to show that Snipes accepted responsibility and was ready to pay his taxes. Problem: The judge didn't know what to do with it, and the prosecutors weren't ready to accept that whopping sum of money. Hodges said he had "no authority on the part of the court to accept funds on behalf of the United States Treasury." Assistant U.S. Attorney Scot Morris conferred with other at the prosecution table. "You honor," he said, "I'm not authorized at this time to accept that money." "I'll take the checks back," said Meachum.

During a break, an IRS agent accepted the payment. "Your honor, that was a grandstanding move," Morris said late in the day. "It's essentially a down payment on his taxes. It is in no way a settlement of his taxes. It will be a fraction of what he owes."

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Tracked on Apr 24, 2008 6:12:45 PM


Sniping Snipes’ Arguments: Why Wesley Snipes Was Wrong

Posted by: Benson | Apr 25, 2008 8:32:34 AM

Script rewrite from "Major League" (floating around the internet)

[Introducing himself 1]
Hayes: Willie Mays Hayes. I hit like Mays, I run like Hayes, and get my tax tips from Willie Nelson.

[Introducing himself 2]
Hayes: Don't you guys go anywhere. I plan to put on a tax penalty display.

[Introducing himself 3]
Vaughn: "What the hell league you been playing in?"
Hayes: "California Penal."
Vaughn: "Never heard of it. How'd you end up playing there?"
Hayes: "Cheated on my taxes."

[Hayes has just reached on an infield single]
Heywood: You really knocked the crap out of that one.
[shows Heywood his frivolous tax opinion letters]
Hayes: I bought a hundred of these. One for every million I'm gonna steal from the government. Excuse me while I take my first step toward Cell Block A.


[Hayes in court as he fears all hope may be lost]
Hayes: I should've gotten a live chicken.

Posted by: andy | Apr 25, 2008 8:19:19 AM