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What links Luciano Pavarotti, Al Capone, Boris Becker and Lester Piggott - and now Wesley Snipes - but not the Queen, Fabio Capello, Don King or Steffi Graf? - part 1 of 1 2 3 4

Published 01/08/2008

The former have all been convicted of tax evasion, but the latter haven't.

Wesley Snipes, Hollywood actor, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for tax evasion.

Before the sentence was passed, Snipes made a grand gesture, producing three cheques to the total of $5 million to pay the outstanding amount. He also called on the character witness accounts of high profile friends including Woody Harrelson and Denzel Washington.

All this was to no avail - he was given the maximum sentence available.


The "Blade" actor had been convicted in February 2008 on three charges of wilfully failing to make a tax return.

In 1998, under the influence of Eddie Ray Kahn, founder of Guiding Light of God Ministries, he had made the decision that he simply did not have to pay tax, claiming the government had no right to take them. Kahn was prosecuted at the same time, and received a ten year jail sentence.

Prosecutors asked the presiding judge to make an example of the actor, which he duly did. In summing up he said that Snipes showed a "history of contempt over a period of time" for the US tax laws. He further commented that Snipes' apology and plea for clemency had been made without a single mention of the word "tax".


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1st Published 01/08/2008
last update 06/11/2019 11:09:07

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