Wesley Snipes indicted for tax fraud

Oct. 17, 2006 at 3:16 PM
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TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Attorney's office in Tampa, Fla., has issued an arrest warrant for actor Wesley Snipes, indicted for fraud and income tax evasion.

Snipes and two co-defendants are accused of conspiring to hide Snipes' earnings of nearly $12 million in 1996 and 1997 and Snipes was charged with six additional counts of failing to file federal income tax returns from 1996-2004, the Tampa office of U.S. Attorney Paul Perez said in a news release Tuesday.

If convicted, the star of Hollywood's "Blade" films faces a maximum five years for each of the eight conspiracy counts, plus one year for each charge of failure to file with the Internal Revenue Service.

"Our system of government depends on citizens paying their fair share of taxes," Perez said in the release, adding tax fraud negatively impacts every corner of government.

One of Snipes' co-defendants surrendered to authorities Tuesday, the second was believed to be out of the country and Snipes' whereabouts were unknown.

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