What’s worse than potentially cheating the US government out of millions of dollars?  Whining about it.  Yes, you guessed it.  There’s more news on Wesley Snipes to report.

Wesley Snipes was previously indicted for allegedly claiming more than $12 million in fraudulent refunds and not filing any tax returns for several years.  A warrant for his arrest has been issued, yet the actor continues to shoot a movie in Namibia. 

He sent an email to an Orlando Sentinel columnist in which he claims that he is a "scapegoat" being persecuted by "a few individuals with access to power, making moves (trying to move up!) and less with some alleged crime against the whole population of the United States of America."  He went on to compare himself to, yes, a rape victim, rambling, "This reminds me of rape cases where the ‘victim’ is flipped, turned or converted into the role of victimizer, the ‘architect conspirator.’"  Not content there, he goes on to play the race card by stating, "Being a black male who asks questions doesn’t help the situation either."  Hmm.  He fails to point out that Eddie Ray Kahn, who was the chief co-conspirator in the tax fraud case, is not a black male.

He further states that he "will abide by the law, seeking the protections the law affords me and as always seek the advice of competent council [sic] in effort to resolve this issue. I’m not running, I’m not a fugitive, despite the misrepresentations in the press."  Apparently, there’s a little confusion (to the tune of $12 million) as to what "abide by the law means" especially as he opened the email by claiming that "this was almost (10) ten years ago. Why are they coming with this issue now? Were the statutes of limitation running out or what? We thought all issues had been resolved. Guess not, huh?"  The implication is that he was aware that there were issues and it does beg the question who the competent counsel actually is, as there are exceptions to the statute of limitation rules in cases of fraud, non-filing and gross under-reporting which any tax attorney would know.

To bolster his contention that this is just a case of folks out to get him, Snipes cited two previous incidents:  a 2003 paternity suit filed against him in New York that was ultimately dismissed and the loss of his $1.7 million Florida home in a separate foreclosure case.  He fails to mention his detention last year at Johannesburg Airport when he was caught with a fraudulent passport; his visa status in South Africa is currently "undesirable."  But maybe that’s part of the conspiracy, too?

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier…

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer and podcaster.

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