Wesley Snipes Hopes For Miracle Before Going To Jail
Wesley Snipes is due to turn himself in and start serving his three year jail sentence in two days, but he isn’t ready to give up just yet. He told Larry King tonight that he is holding out for a miracle.
What Wesley could have used several years ago was not a miracle, but some common sense. Bill Gates once said, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking that they can’t lose.” Wesley Snipes could have used that advice when he began his whole tax protesting campaign.
Snipes got himself into this mess when he met Eddie Ray Kahn. Kahn is a man known to be a “veteran” tax protester who had served jail time in the 80’s for tax related crimes. A tax protester is someone who believes that income taxes are unconstitutional and therefore does not pay them. It is commonly known as the 861 argument. Snipes was so convinced that Khan was correct that he not only stopped filing his taxes, he also filed amended returns for two previous years seeking over $11 million in refunds. Khan and Snipes were both charged with conspiring to defraud the United States on October 12, 2006. Among the charges were his failure to file tax returns or pay any taxes for the years 1999-2004 and filing false amended returns in an effort to get back the money he had paid in those years.
The case has bounced around different courts going through different forms of appeal. Eventually, in 2008, Snipes was found guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison. He has remained free on bail for the last two years as he further appeals his case, but all of the appeals have now run dry. His motion for a new trial has been denied and today a higher court refused to hear his case. Baring that miracle he is holding out for, Wesley Snipes will be in prison by the end of the week.
This is a perfect example of Bill Gates quote being deadly accurate. Snipes is clearly a sharp guy. He has a created a great career for himself as an actor and has produced a handful of movies as well. He was so successful that it appears he felt he could do anything and that he understood every business venture. There was a very good article in Sports Illustrated a little while back that talked about how most pro athletes are broke within five years of leaving the game they played. Much of this is because, while they are great athletes, they aren’t great businessmen and they find themselves involved in businesses that are high risk and rarely pay off. When Khan told Wesley Snipes about his tax plan, raid sirens should have gone off in his head. If it was as easy as it appeared, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Snipes, however, appeared to understand what he was getting into and felt he was smart enough to work the system. I have the feeling he figured he would either never get caught, or that he had a plan in place to beat any charges that he may get. Obviously that didn’t work.
Snipes is going to go to jail now and learn the lesson the hard way. When it seems too good to be true, it almost always is and now Wesley Snipes will have 36 months (since it is federal time he must serve 80% of it so he will do at least 28 months) to think about that.
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