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Wesley Snipes sentenced to 3 years in prison

Wesley Snipes sentenced to 3 years in prison Actor Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years behind bars on Thursday on three counts of willfully failing to file tax returns. The Snipes' sentence was the highest-profile criminal tax sentence in decades and letters from fellow actors Woody Harrelson and Denzel Washington attesting to his compassion, intelligence and value as a mentor helped none. Little help was the fact that Wesley Snipes cut the federal government three checks for $5 million, delivered in court, checks the prosecutors initially rejected, but later accepted. Earlier last year the actor was acquitted of five other charges, including felony tax fraud and conspiracy, that would've exposed him to 13 more years in prison.

 Wesley Snipes read aloud from a prepared apology, calling his actions "costly mistakes" but never mentioning the word "taxes." He said he was the victim of crooked advisers, a liability of wealth and celebrity that attract "wolves and jackals like flies are attracted to meat." "I am very sorry for my mistakes and errors. As I was sitting here today, a street saying came to mind - more money, more problems," Snipes said during the sentencing.

 "One of the main purposes which drives selective prosecution in tax cases is deterrence. In some instances, that means those of celebrity stand greater risk of prosecution. But there's nothing unusual about it, nor is there anything unlawful about it. It's the way the system works," U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges said during the sentencing.

 Published on 04/25/2008

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