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Wesley Snipes Ordered To Serve Three Years in Prison For Tax Evasion

A federal judge has ordered Wesley Snipes to surrender and start a three-year prison term for a tax evasion conviction.

US District Judge Terrell Hodges rejected the actor's bid for a new trial, ruling that Snipes had a fair trial.

"The Defendant Snipes had a fair trial; he has had a full, fair and thorough review of his conviction and sentence by the Court of Appeals; and he has had a full, fair and thorough review of his present claims, during all of which he has remained at liberty," said Terrell.

"The time has come for the judgment to be enforced."

Snipes was convicted in April 2008 in Ocala, Fla., on three misdemeanor charges of failing to file his income tax returns from 1991 to 2001. The prosecution said the actor attempted to avoid paying millions in taxes and obstructed the IRS.

He had been free on bond while appealing.

"It is just shocking," said his attorney, Daniel Meachum. "Wesley is very disappointed but staying strong and positive."

Meachum had asked for a new trial after two former jurors sent emails to him alleging that other members made the conclusion that he was guilty even before the trial started. He also believed that one of the witnesses Kenneth Starr, who recently pleaded guilty to fraud, gave a "tainted" testimony.

"We were hopeful that he had convinced Judge Hodges that the government's witness, Ken Starr, had perjured himself and that the government knew of his criminal activities and the predetermined minds of three jurors, but we obviously fell short in accomplishing that."

November 22, 2010 |

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