Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Wesley Snipes indicted on tax fraud; may get jail time
Wesley Snipes was indicted Tuesday on eight counts of tax fraud accusing him of trying to cheat the government of $12 million in false refund claims.
Snipes, 44, also failed to file tax returns for six years, according to an indictment unsealed in Tampa, Florida.
An arrest warrant for the actor has been issued, officials said, adding that his whereabouts are unknown.
Federal prosecutors said that Snipes fraudulently claimed refunds totaling nearly $12 million in 1996 and 1997 on income taxes already paid.
The indictment also charged him with failure to file returns between 1999 and 2004.
According to the indictment, Snipes had his taxes prepared by accountants with a history of filing false returns to reap payments for their clients. As part of the deal, the indictment alleges, the firm, American Rights Litigators, would receive 20 percent of refunds from clients.
Snipes faces a maximum of 16 years in prison.
Snipes, who had a home in Windermere, Florida, has not been arrested because authorities don't know where he is, the IRS said.