Snipes Conviction Post Mortem
February 4, 2008
At TaxProf Blog, tax professors comment on the Wesley Snipes trial verdict. Snipes was convicted of failing to file tax returns, although acquitted of more serious conspiracy and fraud charges. Snipes’s co-defendants, who pushed the “§ 861 argument” to evade taxes, were convicted of all counts. Professor Buchanan at GW analyzes:
In short, even if Snipes manages to avoid jail time (which I hope he won’t), the price he will pay is steep. In an attempt to evade $14 million in taxes, Snipes must now pay that amount in full plus interest plus penalties probably exceeding $10 million, plus legal fees, all while now carrying a criminal record. Add in the years of uncertainty that this prosecution caused Snipes, as well as the personal toll of a trial carrying the possibility of 16 years in prison, and this does not look like an advertisement for getting into the tax denial game.
We reviewed the “§ 861 argument” fraud here.