Wesley Snipes Really Trying to Avoid Prison

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Wesley Snipes really doesn't want to go to prison.

Not that anyone does. But Snipes is going to ridiculous legal lengths to avoid serving a three-year prison term for tax evasion. His first appeal, of the conviction itself, failed. Now he's challenging the length of the three-year sentence.

Here's his defense in a nutshell:

  • Not paying taxes for five years (when you're rich no less): Eh.
  • Going to jail for three years: So harsh! Lay off, government!

Seriously. The 47-year-old actor's lawyers are calling the sentence "unreasonable" and claiming that his trial should have taken place in New York, not Florida.

Never mind that Snipes' records show he lived in both states or that he had ample time to request a venue change in the years-in-the-making trial's location.

Come on, Wesley Snipes. It's over, man.

"The right to a correct venue is part and parcel to the right to a jury trial," Snipes' attorney, Peter Goldberger, said of Snipes, who is still free on $1 million bond.

The prosecution, meanwhile, shot down Goldberger's claim, saying that no amount of whining over the justly chosen venue can reverse Snipes' tax wrongdoing.

"Wesley Snipes received a fair trial and fair sentence," Asst. U.S. attorney Patricia Barksdale said. "His numerous appeals do not make that sentence erroneous."

Snipes was sentenced in April of last year after a jury determined that the actor failed to file returns on at least $13.8 million in income between 1999-2004.

At least his White Men Can't Jump quotes should be popular in jail.

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I suggest that Wesley work for the Obama administration and he will get out of this mess and fogiven.

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Hello Pat Riot, I really like what you have to say... I never looked at it that way before.. there is a hell of a lot of taxing going on... where are the benefits in all of them... really??

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13.8 million x 38.6% (top tax rate last I heard) = $5,326,800. Pretty serious amounts... HOWEVER, the IRS will tack on at least double that amount in interest and penalties. So Wesley paying 5 million is inconsequential to the IRS. They won't be happy until they get it all and more. Heck, for a 1 million bail, I would expect Wesley to find a no-extradition country and move the heck out of the US. While I do agree that the services this country offers are worth paying for in taxes... I also believe that those taxes should be constitutional... Avoidable in that you don't buy what is taxed, but everything bought is taxed. So when anyone buys ANYTHING they pay their fair share, rich & poor alike. No tax evasion is possible if your taxes are paid every time you buy anything.

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Seriously? Not to complain too much - but maybe celebrities should pause to think before they buy that $400,000 car, that 2.5 million dollar bling ring, or that $6 million dollar house you reside in about 1/12th of the year. And why is it that back taxes catch up with us common folk a lot quicker than they do with you savy celebs? You can have a tarrot card reader on retainer but you can't afford an accountant?!

Wesley Snipes Biography

Wesley Snipes Mug Shot White men really can't jump. But Wesley Snipes can jump to avoid tax evasion charges by the U.S. government. Alas, he was eventually... More »
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Wesley Snipes