The New Stuff

Passenger 57 to Inmate 57: Judge Orders Wesley Snipes to Surrender


MIAMI, Fla. --- Actor Wesley Snipes was ordered to start serving his three-year prison sentence for tax crimes Friday.

A Florida judge rejected Snipes bid for a new trial. "The Defendant Snipes had a fair trial ... The time has come for the judgment to be enforced," U.S. District Judge Terrell Hodges said in his ruling.

The judge ordered the "Passenger 57" star to report to prison as directed by the U.S. Marshallís Service or Bureau of Prisons. However, it remains unclear when or where Snipes would begin serving his time behind bars.

In 2008 Snipes was convicted in an Ocala, Florida court on three misdemeanor tax charges for failing to file income tax returns for 1999 through 2001. Snipes, who's been kept out of jail on appeals, lost his final appeal and now must do the time.

In seeking a new trial, Snipes' lawyer, Daniel Meachum, had argued that jurors in the original trial were biased and that the prosecution's star witness had his own criminal problems.

At his sentencing in April 2008, prosecutors said Snipes, a resident of Windermere, Florida, had earned more than $38 million since 1999 but had filed no tax returns nor paid any taxes.

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