On Thursday, April 24, Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes has been given three years of prison time. He has been found guilty on the charges of three counts of misdemeanors of not filing his tax returns. Three years was the maximum punishment that the prosecutors had requested the judge to hand to Snipes.
In a gesture of good will as an attempt to get mercy, Snipes handed checks worth up to $5 million. However, prosecutors said that it was only a fraction of the money he owes the government. Prosecutors accepted the checks and handed them over to the United States Treasury. Instead of considering it a bribe, prosecutors said that the checks were a deposit as Snipes pays the rest of the money he owes.
The prosecutors have argued that Snipes had evaded taxes for almost ten years by sending the money to bank accounts overseas. They add that Snipes owes over $15 million.
Nathan J. Hochman, the Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division said that Snipes’ guilty verdict and judgment should send a strong message to other such violators. Douglas Shulman, Commissioner of the IRS said that there is no way to get out of tax obligations.
Snipes gave only a loud “wow” when he got the verdict. His attorneys plan to take it verdict to the appeals court. During court, Snipes had most of Hollywood behind him with support from fellow actors such as Denzel Washington. However, not even Hollywood would be able to deflect the incoming guilty verdict.
Snipes has starred in numerous movies such as “Blade,” “The Fan,” To Wong Foo,” “Major League,” “Demolition Man,” “Money Train,” and a slew of other movies.
In short, Snipes has been given a guilty verdict and will be spending three years behind bars.