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April 22, 2008

Federal prosecutors going hard after Wesley Snipes' tax "advisors"

This local article provides the latest news coming from the upcoming sentencing of Wesley Snipes and his co-defendants for tax evasion.  Here are some details:

Federal prosecutors are seeking a prison term of 10 years for Eddie Ray Kahn, one of two co-defendants of actor Wesley Snipes in a tax evasion scheme. In a sentencing memo filed Sunday, Robert E. O'Neill, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, called on Senior U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges to sentence Eddie Ray Kahn to 10 years in prison. O'Neill also sought a sentence for a second co-defendant, Douglas Rosile, of between six and eight years.

On Feb. 1, an Ocala jury found Snipes guilty of three counts of willfully failing to file tax returns, but also acquitted him of felony conspiracy and tax fraud charges and three additional counts of failure to file.  The jury convicted Kahn and Rosile on the same felony charges.  All three men are scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

O'Neill is seeking a sentence of three years in prison for Snipes — the maximum possible — and a fine of at least $5 million against the actor.  Snipes was a member of Kahn's Mount Dora-based American Rights Litigators.  Prosecutors have described ARL and its successor company, Guiding Light of God Ministries, as nothing more than illegal tax-evasion schemes....

In the sentencing memo for Kahn and Rosile, O'Neill described both men as "incorrigible tax offenders for whom significant prison sentences are warranted."  The memo indicates Kahn formed and sold memberships in ARL, even after he was convicted of willfully refusing to file his own returns and served a three-year prison term....

The memo notes that at least nine other members of ARL or Guiding Light of God Ministries have been convicted in separate criminal tax cases around the country, and that at least two more such trials are pending.  Because of Snipes' celebrity, the sentences imposed in the case could "increas(e) tax compliance on a national scale," the memo said. "This may be particularly true of the many customers of tax-defiance organizations, who cannot all be criminally prosecuted due to limited government resources."

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April 22, 2008 at 07:56 AM | Permalink

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