In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Wesley Snipes’ film career was at its peak. 1998 marked the highpoint for Snipes’ commercial success, when he starred in the movie “Blade.” In 1998, Snipes also starred in “U.S. Marshalls” as Mark Sheridan, a falsely accused fugitive on the run from the law. It was also around this time he stopped filing his federal income tax returns.
Last week, Wesley Snipes did not reprise his role as a fugitive and he reported to his new home, McKean Federal Correctional Institution in Lewis Run, Pennsylvania. Snipes, will be serving time for willfully failing to file income taxes.
In 2006, Snipes faced a multi-count indictment that included charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States government, filing a false claim against the government, and six counts of failing to file income tax returns by their due dates. He faced up to five years for each of the conspiracy and the fraud charges and up to one year for each of the failure to file charges.
In 2008, Snipes was acquitted of the conspiracy and fraud charges and three of the failure to file charges. However, he was convicted of three of the failure to file charges and sentenced to the maximum sentence of three years in prison. He spent the next two years appealing his conviction and sentence, but ultimately lost in the court of appeals.
Snipes will now be residing in a prison camp at McKean prison set aside for 290 non-violent white collar offenders. It is likely he will have to serve most of his three-year sentence there. In a CNN interview, Snipes was asked if he was nervous about the prospect of going to prison. He responded, “Given the length of time that they are suggesting that I be away from my family, away from my profession, away from my ability to provide for my family and for those who have depended upon me to contribute to society…I think anyone would be nervous about that.”
ABC News, “Actor Wesley Snipes Reports to Pennsylvania Federal Prison,” Emily Friedman, 12/9/2010
CNN, “Snipes acquitted of tax fraud, conspiracy,” 2/1/2008