Wesley Snipes Escapes Fraud Charges, But...

Actor faces up to 3 years for failing to file tax returns
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 1, 2008 8:05 PM CST
Wesley Snipes shakes hands with one of his defense attorneys, Robert Barns, right, as his lead defense attorney Robert Bernhoft stands at left in Ocala, Fla. Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. Snipes was found not...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Wesley Snipes is off the hook for tax fraud—but a federal jury in Florida today convicted him on 3 counts of failing to file returns, the Los Angeles Times reports. For the misdemeanors, the actor faces up to 3 years in prison, but he escaped a possible 13 more. The "Blade" star’s two co-defendants were found guilty of tax fraud and conspiracy.

Snipes was indicted in 2006, charged with filing false returns in the 1990s and failing to file later returns. As defense, he and his co-defendants cited a section of US tax code regarding overseas earnings, which some take to mean only foreign earnings are taxable. “This case,” said a US attorney, is “about three men who felt they were above the law.”