Actor Wesley Snipes ordered to begin three-year prison term

November 20th, 2010 - 3:39 am ICT by BNO News  

OCALA, FLORIDA (BNO NEWS) — Actor Wesley Snipes on Friday was ordered to surrender to authorities to begin his 3-year sentence in prison after being found guilty of tax evasion in 2008.

The Blade trilogy actor was sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty in April 2008 on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal income tax returns.

U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges denied a motion regarding a new trial that Snipes’ lawyers requested after claiming that the actor’s trial was damaged after prosecutors hid key information of a witness.

Snipes claims that the government failed to disclose that his former accountant Kenneth Starr was under investigation for engaging in criminal activities of conspiring to evade income taxes with another client.

Starr gave a key testimony during Snipes’ trial which was fundamental for the jury finding the actor guilty. The accountant pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud, investment fraud, and money laundering last month. Starr faces 45 years in prison for allegedly stealing between $20 to $50 million from his clients.

In addition, Snipes’ lawyers also argued that there was jury misconduct during trial and they have evidence to prove it. The lawyers added that emails prove that three jurors told the rest that the actor was guilty before they even heard the first piece of evidence.

The actor has repeatedly mentioned that he will not go to jail as his trial was unfair. He appealed his sentence in repeated occasions and requested a new trial with no avail. He had been free on bond throughout the appeal process.

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