Apparently, reference letters don’t carry that much weight in federal court these days. Wesley Snipes tried every angle he possibly could and a federal judge still sentenced the action star to the maximum three-year sentence on tax charges. Prosecutors came after the actor asking for three years, one year for each of Snipes’ convictions of willfully failing to file a tax return.
Snipes’ lawyers submitted three dozen letters from family members, friends and colleagues Denzel Washington and Woody Harrelson. The lawyers argued probation for Snipes with no prison and no fine because he had no previous criminal record and all three convictions were misdemeanors.
The sentencing lasted all morning without a decision. A jury found Snipes guilty in February of willfully failing to file taxes for three years, in the amount the government stated at $2.7 million. The attorneys concluded that the government’s sentencing guidelines were not fair for tax convictions such as these.