Snipes' tax adviser gets more prison time

Sept. 7, 2010 at 3:00 PM
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MOUNT DORA, Fla., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The Florida tax adviser for actor Wesley Snipes and other clients got 20 years added to his prison term for advising how to beat revenuers, a judge ruled.

Eddie Ray Kahn, 67, who operated a "tax defier" organization in Mount Dora, Fla., and three other Florida men were convicted of conspiracy in federal court in Washington. The men worked for Kahn's American Rights Litigators, which prosecutors characterized as "the Walmart of tax fraud" for selling inexpensive schemes to help people avoid tax obligations, the Orlando Sentinel reported Monday.

Kahn was convicted as a co-defendant in Snipes' trial in 2008 and received a 10-year sentence. Federal court records indicated his defunct organization operated in all 50 states for seven years as American Rights Litigators or the Guiding Light of God Ministries, and had more than 4,800 paying members in the United States.

Federal prosecutors called Kahn and his co-defendants "paper terrorists" because they would send the Internal Revenue Service "bales of frivolous letters instead of legitimate tax returns, forcing agents from collecting taxes because "instead of real checks, they received fake (bills of exchange)," worthless check-like documents, court documents indicated.

Snipes was among the clients who tried the strategies, the Sentinel said.

The government, citing records an agent found on office computers, claimed Kahn and his organization meant to cheat the U.S. government out of $1.1 billion in federal taxes owed by its clients.

Snipes asked a federal judge last month to set aside his convictions and order a new trial, the Sentinel said. If his latest bid is unsuccessful, Snipes could begin a 36-month sentence.

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