Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Wesley Snipes a free man after serving sentence for tax crimes

After having a number of small roles in television and films, action Wesley Snipes burst onto the Hollywood scene winning starring roles in successful movies such as New Jack City, Jungle Fever, White Men Can't Jump and Blade. While the fame of the Bronx-raised actor grew, so too did his bank account.

For years, Snipes was a commercially successful Hollywood actor who was paid handsomely for his talent. In fact, Snipes earned a reported $40 million from 1999 to 2005 alone. Despite his success and fame during 2006, the actor found himself facing criminal charges related to tax fraud.

Snipes vowed to fight the criminal tax charges which stemmed from allegations he attempted to claim more than $12 million in fraudulent tax returns and failed to pay taxes for several years. Speaking at the actor's trial in 2008, Snipe's defense attorney contended the actor was a victim of "unscrupulous tax advice". The defense team, however, rested on the belief that the prosecution would not be able to prove their case and, as such, failed to convince the jury of Snipe's innocence in the criminal tax matters.

Despite being acquitted of more serious charges including conspiracy and felony tax fraud, Snipes was eventually convicted for failing to file tax returns for five years. He was sentenced to the maximum of three years in prison. Despite several appeals, the actor began serving his sentence in June of 2011.

The actor was recently released from prison after serving the majority of his sentence. Many believe he will soon be back to acting and earning an impressive income.

The Snipes case proves that no one is immune when it comes to criminal tax charges. It also illustrates the importance of having an aggressive criminal defense attorney who has a proven track record of presenting and winning similar cases.

Source: Forbes, "Wesley Snipes Walks Our Of Prison Just Before Tax Day," Kelly Phillips Erb, April 5, 2013