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February 8, 2008

Welsey Snipes to be sentenced two weeks too late

As detailed in this local story, a "federal judge has set a sentencing date for actor Wesley Snipes, who was convicted Feb. 1 on three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file tax returns" for late April 2008.  Here are more details:

Senior U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges set a hearing for April 24 to sentence Snipes and his codefendants Eddie Ray Kahn and Douglas Rosile.  Snipes, Kahn and Rosile were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of aiding and abetting the making of a false and fraudulent claim as part of an alleged tax fraud scheme.  Snipes also was charged with six counts of willfully failing to file federal income tax returns.

Jurors acquitted Snipes of the felony counts, but convicted Kahn and Rosile.  The jury also acquitted Snipes of the three remaining failure to file counts.Snipes faces a possible maximum sentence of three years in prison.  Kahn and Rosile face a possible 10 years.... Hodges' order allows Snipes and Rosile, both free on bond, to remain free until the sentencing.

Unless one believes that general deterrence should have no role at all in sentencing, it seems to me that this sentencing is scheduled about two weeks too late.  Snipes' sentencing will be a very high-profile punishment for failure to file tax returns, and it seems that society would benefit greatly by having this sentencing tax place right before Tax Day, April 15.  I wonder if, as a victim of Snipes' crime, federal citizen taxpayers like me (and TaxProf Paul Caron) have a right under the Crime Victims' Rights Act to request moving up the sentencing date in this case.

February 8, 2008 at 09:21 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 22, 2009 3:50:43 AM


Except that he probably won't be facing a very harsh sentence, so it may not make any difference at all.

Posted by: Law Clerk | Feb 8, 2008 9:44:36 AM

We are always talking about the use of acquitted conduct. Let me just state that we never know what sentence will be imposed upon a Star. "Demo-Man", Simon says: ? Is the judge looking to make an example of jury nullification techniques employed by Star? Let us not forget, the article said his convictions are not felonious, so either way, WS Star will be subjected to only a short term of imprisonment, if any. But I don't want WS to go to prison --but Judge Ryskamp taught me well that when the law requires a punishment, a punishment should be imposed. No man is above the law.

Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Feb 8, 2008 6:15:08 PM

If the three counts of conviction are stacked, Snipes could get up to 3 years' imprisonment. Though I doubt he'll be maxed out, I won't be surprised if this is what the prosecution requests.

Posted by: Doug B. | Feb 9, 2008 8:37:39 AM

it's good that it's late. he'll probably get a light sentence, which will reiterate the fact that he got away with something.

even a 3 year sentence won't mean much; as the movie "Undisputed" shows, Wesley Snipes can handle himself quite well in prison.

Posted by: andy | Feb 9, 2008 9:10:07 PM

Prof. Berman, like Paul Caron and your fellow tax prof(iteer)s, you are a complete charlatan.

So you want to use Snipes' sentencing date for propaganda purposes, do you? How would "society" benefit from an earlier sentencing date? The only "society" that would so benefit is the tax prof(iteer) society to which you belong. You know, the one that will do anything to hang on to the existence of the federal income tax that allows you to be a well-compensated, but totally unproductive, member of proper society.

Better be careful what you wish for because Mr. Snipes sentence will soon be vacated. What will happen to your beloved "voluntary compliance" then?

To explain, I guess it never occurred to you that Snipes' verdicts on his six willful failure to file counts were woefully inconsistent. He is not guilty for three counts, but is guilty for three other counts? Nonsense! The government had no more evidence in support of the three counts that were adjudged guilty than it did on the three counts that were adjudged not guilty.

As for you and tax prof(iteer) Paul Caron being victims, it is actually society at large who is victimized by you both. When do we get reparations from you two useless eaters who have been living off our labors for decades?

Posted by: American Patriot | Feb 12, 2008 12:08:07 AM

I was sentenced to two years in Federal prison for not filing tax returns based on the sentencing guidlines the Judge claim to have "no choice". The only victims were my family and me.

Posted by: Jim | Feb 19, 2008 8:08:03 PM

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