Belfast Telegraph

Snipes faces jail over tax evasion

Wesley Snipes has been ordered to start his three-year sentence for failing to pay taxes at a federal prison in Pennsylvania next week.

The US Marshal's Office issued a notice ordering the actor to voluntarily surrender at the Federal Correctional Institution McKean in Lewis Run, Pennsylvania, by noon on December 9.

The 48-year-old Hollywood star had tried unsuccessfully to remain free on bail while appealing his conviction to the US Supreme Court.

Wesley - who has starred in films including the Blade trilogy and White Men Can't Jump - was convicted in 2008 for wilful failure to file income tax returns.

The Pennsylvania prison is a medium security facility with an adjacent satellite prison camp for minimum security offenders. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross said agency policy prohibited him from saying which unit would house the actor.

Following his conviction by a federal jury in Florida, Wesley appealed to the appellate court in Atlanta. But the appellate court upheld the conviction and sentence.

Last month, his lawyers argued a new trial should be granted because of testimony by Kenneth Starr, a former financial adviser to celebrities, who admitted during a plea hearing last September in New York to cheating wealthy and elderly clients out of tens of millions of dollars.

A judge rejected those arguments, writing that "the defendant Snipes had a fair trial; he has had a full, fair and thorough review of his conviction and sentence. ... The time has come for the judgment to be enforced".


From Belfast Telegraph