Alongside entertainment news stories such as Velvet Revolver releasing a new DVD, Wesley Snipes is once again in the news. After upholding the previous court's opinion, an appeals court judge has sentenced Wesley Snipes to three years in prison for his well documented tax issues with the U.S. Government. The appeal had been ongoing ever since 2008. Whether or not the actor, producer, and martial arts expert will actually have to serve or another round of appeals is in order is yet to be seen, but at the moment it would appear as though he has no choice but to surrender and report to jail to do his time. It is fascinating to see someone from Hollywood go through a case like this and actually get handed down what some are calling a harsh sentence for a non violent offender.
Wesley Snipes has a long and storied history with the Internal Revenue Service that goes back at least a decade and a half. He was allegedly involved in schemes along with at least two other men to defraud the United States government out of millions of dollars in taxes based on income he received from movies and other sources of wealth. Among other things, the accusation has long stood that Wesley Snipes did not file any taxes of any kind at all between the tax years 1999 and 2001, a period during which he was working and earning good money plying his trade in the entertainment industry.
"Blade" Star Going to Jail
Fans of the "Blade" trilogy and his other films will be especially concerned that this actor who was once near the top of the A list in Hollywood is being put away for such a substantial period of time. If this is anything like what happened with rapper Lil Wayne, Wesley Snipes will be out early with credit for good behavior and will get his career back on track in no time. Sometimes these things are good for an actor's career because the notoriety puts their name back out in the forefront. Of course, it is better to be associated with a blockbuster movie release than a release from prison, but in some cases any publicity is better than none at all. And in this case it could be good to start with a clean slate financially as well once all of the fines and other costs are worked out.
Of course, the man who immortalized the role of Willie Mays Hayes in the comedy "Major League" might still have another appeal up his sleeve yet. Wesley Snipes seems to have no shortage of resolve when it comes to his dedication to not paying taxes and to getting away with it for as long as possible. If Wesley Snipes or others in Hollywood put the effort and the creativity into their craft that Wesley Snipes puts into his defense and his ongoing battle against the Internal Revenue Service, they would be great beyond compare. It is funny to consider situations like these as normal folk who have enough trouble just paying our gap insurance coverage and thinking about stars gambling on millions in fines and court costs as well as jail time just to prove a point.
Wesley Snipes is a classic actor whose time may have passed already, but Tinsel town loves a comeback. After serving his time, perhaps he will be the big ticket. Maybe Wesley Snipes will write a memoir while in jail that gets turned into a movie. As long as the lead role is played by Wesley Snipes, surely he wouldn't mind this outcome. When he has paid his debt to society, he can get back to not paying taxes.