Wesley Snipes jailed
- Bang Showbiz
- 25 April 2008
Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday (24.04.08).
The Hollywood actor - who owed $2.8 million in unreturned tax bills from 1999 to 2001 - was condemned by Judge William Terrell Hodges for exhibiting a "history of contempt over a period of time" for US tax laws.
Snipes, 45, apologised for his "costly mistakes" and blamed his failure to pay on his lack of education.
Speaking at the court in Ocala, Florida, Snipes said: "I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance.
"I am well-intentioned, but miseducated".
During the hearing, Snipes' lawyers offered letters from the star's family members and friends - including Hollywood actors Denzel Washington and Woody Harrelson - speaking about his good character.
They had recommended Snipes be given home detention because he had no previous criminal record.
Before he had been handed his sentence, Snipes surprised the court by offering the government $5 million for unpaid taxes over several years, which was at first denied before being accepted.
Prosecutors called it "grandstanding" to avoid jail time, insisting the sum wouldn't cover the amount of money Snipes owed.
Snipes will serve his sentence at a prison near his New Jersey home.
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