You may be familiar with Wesley Snipes from his roles in such movies as “Blade.” But he’s also known for something else. His fight to avoid paying taxes. He even spent time in prison over it.
In 2008, Mr. Snipes was convicted of three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns. He was sentenced to three years, and reported to the McKean Federal Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison in Pennsylvania, on December 9, 2010. He finished in 2013 at the adjacent prison camp, a minimum security Club Fed as inmate number 43355-018.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons quietly released him on April 2, 2013. However, it could have been much worse. The big victory for Snipes was that he was acquitted of felony tax fraud and conspiracy. He was only convicted of misdemeanor charges, since he didn’t file false tax returns. Even so, Snipes appealed, arguing that his 3 year sentence was unreasonable. He claimed he couldn’t get a fair trial because of his race, but even the U.S. Supreme Court turned him down.
According to the case,
Snipes claimed that as a “fiduciary of God, who is a ‘nontaxpayer,’” he was a “‘foreign diplomat’” who was not obliged to pay taxes.
Needless to say, that strategy didn’t work.
And now he’s in trouble with the IRS again.
From Fox News:
On Thursday, however, tax court Judge Kathleen Kerrigan delivered the “Blade” actor a final blow, when she said that Snipes failed to convince the court that he doesn’t have the assets to pay more than $850,000.
The Hollywood Reporter reports a settlement officer looked into the actor’s real estate holdings and assets and determined that the reasonable amount that could be collected was about $17.5 million.
Snipes did get one break, that the settlement offer from the IRS was lowered to $9.5 million.
But despite that Snipes still refused to offer more than the $850,000.
Despite the settlement amount being lowered, Snipes still reportedly tried to fight back. He went on to claim that his financial adviser had taken out loans and disposed of assets without him knowing and produced an affidavit from the adviser admitting to his misconduct, but the actor was unable to provide any documentation with proof of the diversion of his assets.