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Actor Wesley Snipes ordered to jail over tax crime

20 November 10 09:12
Wesley Snipes

Hollywood star Wesley Snipes has been ordered by a US judge to surrender to authorities to start serving a three-year jail term for tax-related crimes.

Florida Judge William Terrell Hodges rejected a request from Snipes' lawyers to review his sentence and grant a new trial.

In April 2008, Snipes, 48, was found guilty of deliberately failing to file tax returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001.

He then launched an appeal and has been on bail ever since.

The actor, whose films include the Blade trilogy, was cleared of more serious fraud and conspiracy charges.

'Calm and positive'

"The defendant Snipes had a fair trial; he has had a full, fair and thorough review of his conviction and sentence," Judge Hodges wrote in his decision on Friday.

"The time has come for the judgement to be enforced," he said.

It was not immediately clear when and where Snipes had to surrender.

However, his defence attorney Daniel Meachum later said he planned to appeal at the US Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports.

Mr Meachum said that Snipes, who was in Atlanta to film a movie, remained "incredibly calm and positive".

"He wasn't angered. He wasn't bitter."

Snipes' lawyers had argued his 2008 sentence was "unreasonable".

The actor earned more than $37m (£24m) in gross income between 1999 and 2004 but did not file individual federal income tax returns for any of those years, according to official court papers.

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