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February 1, 2008

Split verdict in Wesley Snipes trial ... and another potential high-profile acquitted conduct case

As detailed in this early news report, today brought "a split verdict in the tax evasion case against actor Wesley Snipes."  Here are more specifics:

A federal jury in Ocala this afternoon found Snipes guilty of three misdemeanor charges of not filing tax returns.  He faces up to three years in prison.  The jury found Snipes not guilty of fraud, conspiracy and three other counts of not filing a tax return.

Given that the just rejected all the felony charges, this case could present a real interesting setting for a debate over acquitted conduct sentencing enhancements.  And just in time for an upcoming Sixth Circuit en banc case on the issue (details here and here).

I wonder if the Snipes team needs a sentencing consultant.

February 1, 2008 at 04:48 PM | Permalink

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Comments

When I saw the verdict this was the first thing I thought of.

Since he was only convicted of 3 misdeamenors his exposure is not so great (36 months maximum). Maybe it will not be such an issue.

Posted by: Michael Hadley | Feb 1, 2008 9:44:15 PM

Can't the judge go above that based on acquitted conduct or any other nonsense that the prosecutor can come up with? Is it possible for the judge to go above that? What's the norm in a case like this.

Posted by: babalu | Feb 2, 2008 12:19:52 AM

Whether or not there are any enhancements under USSG 2T1.1 that would be affected by "acquitted conduct," even if the judge were so inclined, it is not likely to matter here. One of the structural problems with the tax guideline is that it disregards the factors which create the difference between tax felonies and tax misdemeanors. The guideline applicable to a 7203 failure to file (misdemeanor) is the same as that for a 7201 evasion count. (Snipes' co-defendants, however, as promoters of a tax evasion scheme convicted of conspiracy to defraud, are subject to 2T1.9, which has its own special enhancements.) Instead, the range in failure to file cases, just like evasion cases, is driven almost entirely by "tax loss." Since the "tax loss" in Snipes case is claimed to be over $10 million, the guideline range with no enhancements at all is already twice the statutory maximum for the 3 misdemeanors, even running wild. So I can't really see it becoming an "acquitted conduct" test case.

Posted by: Peter G | Feb 2, 2008 12:44:16 AM

Is there any concurrent v. consecutive sentencing discretion in this case? In this case, as in so many cases, that may be the single most important sentencing issue. And, do the guidelines play a part in how this decision is made?

One also wonders if the government might itself argue for a lenient incarceration sentence (perhaps probation and community service, with payment of amounts owed as a condition of probation) in order to improve the collectability of its tax debt. Snipes could earn a lot of money in a three years that would be forgone to him and the government alike if he was incarcerated. Also, actors are hot house flowers whose lifetime earning potential can be massively affected by losing a few peak years.

Of course, even if the sentence of incarceration were exactly the same (and surely a more than three year sentence under the guidelines would have been recommended if there were felony convictions), the split verdict is still a real win for Snipes, as the collateral consequences of a misdemeanor conviction are much more slight than those for a felony conviction, particularly for a U.S. citizen like Snipes.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Feb 4, 2008 2:31:59 PM

DEAR SIRS;

SNIPES WILL NOT SERVE A DAY IN JAIL, NOT PAY ANY FINES, OR ANYTHING BUT COMMUNITY SERVICE.

THE MIRACLE COMES FROM AN DEFAULT SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON AN OUT OF COURT SETTLEMENT OF 20 APRIL, 2004.
NUMEROUS FEDERAL JUDGES, IRS OFFFICALS, STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, GOVENORS, ETC.. HAVE BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD AND CRIMINAL ACTION FROM MURDER ONE TO CALSS B MISDEAMOR.
THE LLC WAS ANNOUNCED AT THE HEARING AND PRESENTENCE INVESTIGATION.
THE TERMS OF MR SNIPES CONVICTION WAS THE CONVICTION WAS DISMISSED, BUT MR SNIPES HAS TO HAVE THE IRS DO HIS QARTERLY AND END OF YEAR TAXES AND COMMUNITY SERVICE.
THIS WAS MADE MANDATORY BY THE ORDER OF THE EIGHT JUDICAL COURT WHICH HAD JURIDICTION OVER THE IRS OVER THIS MATTER.
THE FLORIDA FEDERAL COURT CANNOT OVER RULE A OUT OF COURT AGREEMENT THAT RESULTED FORM A SUMMARY DEFAULT JUDGEMENT, NOR CAN THE IRS AND IS BOUND BY THAT AGREEMENT--NO APPEALS ALLOWED OR PERMITTED.
THE JUDGE IN MR SNIPES WAS BOUND BY THE AGREEMENT OF 2004. THE LLC PROVIDED 50 MILLION TO SNIPES AND EACH OF THE TWO CO-DEFENDANTS PROVIDED THEY AGREE TO THESE TERMS AS REQUIRED BY THE LLC.
THEN THE US FEDERAL COURT OF THE EIGHT JUDICAL CIRCUIT BECOMES THEIR ADVOCATE AND THE FEDERAL COURT IN FLORIDA HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUEST MADE BY THE PLAINITIFF PROSEE IN THE OUT OF FEDERAL COURT SETTLEMENT OF 2004.
THE US GOVERMENT SURRENDERED ALL RIGHTS TO PROSECUTE MR SNIPES AND HIS CO-DEFENDANTS FROM 20 APRIL, 2004 WHEN THIS OUT COURT SETTLEMENT WAS MADE. THE IRS WAS REQUIRED BY THE FEDERAL COURT ORDER OF THE 8th JUDICAL COURT ORDER OF 2005 FOR THE IRS TO DO ALL TAXES REUIRED TO BE DONE AND PAID FROM THE ESCROW ACCOUNT 26-0046437.
THERE FORE THE TAX RETURNS FOR 1996 TO 2007 WERE COVERED IN THIS AGREEMENT.
THEREFORE THE FEDERAL COURT COULD NOT UPHOLD A CONVICTION, WHEN THEY ARE THE ADVOCATE, AND THE IRS HAS FAILED TO DO THEIR JOB AND WERE IN CONTEMPT OF THE AGREEMENT OF 2004.
HERE IS MORE, BUT JUDGE DEAN WHIPPLE ( SENIOR JUDGE) IN KANSAS CITY DID HAVE THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY IN KCMO AND THE ONE IN FLORIDA GET THIER ASS REAMED BY THE US ATTORNEY OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, DC.
VERIFED BY THE ENERGY CZAR FOR BUSH .

Posted by: JOHN R WALDEN | Feb 7, 2008 6:38:43 AM

dea sir;

i am a criminal justice student on my masters and afeterward going for my doctorate.
why do i know so much about this llc and the inside scoop on the irs and this out of court settelment?
i am the plantiff prosee, my cousin is federal attorney/prosecuting attorney/and now associate judge.
I am the reason why on 15 fedbruary, 2008 the national debt will offically get paid off, the
36 trillion to secure medicare/medicaid/social security stc...

YOU SEE THE ALMIGHTY IRS AND THE US ATTORNEY (3)
TOTAL have bitten the dust. It pays to get the feds caught in a situation that if any of us did what they caught doing since 1998 would place us on death row or 6,000 years in federal prison
if we were lucky.

In the account at the us treaury 26-0046439 under my and my wifes name and the llc we created is the settlement account that totals for 23 federal torts of 2003-2004 and 1996 in excess of 17 figues with payments to go for 30 years which the feds have to pay at 10 percent annual.
since the IRS and every law enforcement were held accountable, the matter of the murder of my mother in a nursing home by a serial killer the feds were protecting in middle of these civil proceedings as a means to get me to back off was
a big mistake.
Why do you think, that the feds agreed to a insane out of court settlement on my terms
and even agreed to 10 times a penalty if they got into my face or any member or llc member.
Then we have greed and embezzlement form this escrow account by congressmen,senators, federal judges, trustees etc.. and they are going to be a long time processing these crooks.
then there is my request to the head judge in federal court and to the trustee the secretary of homeland security michael j chertoff that a three
member oversight committee to oversee this account
and insure is not abused, taxes done and paid by the IRS as required.
Now it is the riht of any taxpayer to request the IRS do their taxes for them. So if the senior judge of the eight judical court says, This is correct, and makes it a federal court order making
it offical. ( in short if it legal what request i make does not cross the line it must be acted on)
I also make it a point to make congreess aware of any request or need for accountability since bush got caught trying to steal from this account too many times.
So since it became necessary to get the point across to the offenders that they were bolcking a legal reqest submitted to them via the us senate judicary committee, I was forced to make it offical what gift was given to mr snipes an others as allowed under our rules.
The agreement is absolute, it does interfere with any procedure, but failure to make the defense attorney aware of this request legally submitted was in error. IT is a Class A felony
for the IRS and the Prosecuting attorney to threaten me with harm and imply harm to my sick mother in law in the phillippines and to block the release of funds from this escrow account
to0 pay off the national debt and to pay the 140 trillion dollars owed in taxes from the accumulated interest for 2004 to now. (The IRS really messed this one up real good).
since the federal court is my advocate, and the IRS is my accounting firm ordered to do my taxes and every member of my llc. Failure to carry out a judical order by the federal court was criminal contempt of the agreement of the out of court agreement of 2004. this would relut in the criminal proceeding against many high ranking
federal offficals and the president of the united states as well.
So If the us government is guaranteed 140 plus trillions a year in taxes form this account, and was verified by the lips of mr patrick leay, US SENATOR FROM VERMONT--CHAIRMAN OF THE JUDCIARY COMMITTEE. WHY DO WE NEED THE IRS DOING THE PERSONNEL INCOME TAX AT ALL.
IT SEVERVED IT PURPOSE, BUT IS NO LONGER NECESSARY AS THE GOVERNMENT NO LONGER NEED TO BORROW MONEY.
SO WHY DID BUSH GO WITH 3-6 TRILLION DOLLAR BUDGET? THAT IS THE REASON.
SO WHY DO I KNOW HOW MR SNIPES CASE WAS GOING TO END AS PROBATION ETC..WOULD YOU WANT TO FACE AN AUTOMATIC INCREASE OF THIS AWARD AMOUNT THAT IS ALREADY AT 17 FIGURES GOING UP 10-1,000,000,00.00
TIMES THIS AMOUNT FOR BREAKING THIS AGREEMENT, OR LISTEN TO REASON.
OH, I KNOW BIN LADEN IS DEAD, MY CLASSMATE GENERAL EDDY AND I CAME UP WITH A BASIC PLAN OF ACTION TO GET HIM INTO THE AREA WHERE HE WAS OUT OF PAKISTAN, AND INTO AN AREA HE COULD BE TAKEN OUT. UNFORTUNATE THE LATE X-PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN BHUETTO MENTIONED IT IN THE INTERVIEW THAT IS ON LARRY FLYNT WEBSITE.
IF YOU NEED SOME DOCUMENTS I HAVE A FEW, BUT BUSH IS COMING HERE AND IT APPEARS HE HAS COME TO HIS SENSES AND WILL BEHAVE HIMSELF.
YOU SHOULD SEE SIMLAR ACTION ON SNIPES TWO CODEFENDANTS, OJ SIMPSON AND CO-DEFENDANTS, AID TO BRTINEY SPEARS,
THE BROWN FAMILY, THE GOLDMAN FAMILY AND MY FAVORITE THE TWO BORDER GUARDS THAT WERE RAILROADED INTO PRISON.
i CAN ONLY MAKE REQUESTS BUT THE IRS CANNOT SAY NO TO A LEGAL ORDER.
tHIS IS MY SETTLEMENT ACCOUNT , NOT MR GEORGE BUSHES PRIVATE PIGGY BANK ACCOUNT.
I WORKED IN A VITA SITE FOR 8 YEARS AND I LEARNED ALL THE NICE WAYS THE IRS LIKES TO SCREW PEOPLE AND WAYS THE IRS WAS ABLE TO BE TAMED.
MY INSTRUCTOR TOLD ME, THAT GREED IS THE WORST OF ALL EVILS, AND IF THE TEMPATION WAS GREAT ENOUGH, EVEN A SAINT WOULD CONSIDER IT.
HE WAS MORE CORRECT THAN I COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED.
YET, THERE IS ALWAYS A GET OUT JAIL FREE CARD AVAILABLE AND FORGIVENESS IF THE OFFENDERS EVERY CARE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.
DO THE RIGHT THING, AND NEVER MAKE THAT SAME MISTAKE TWICE.

Posted by: JOHN R WALDEN | Feb 11, 2008 2:36:36 AM

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