General News

Snipes must surrender to cops

By:
Nov 19, 2010 | 10:15am EST

The Blade star was found guilty of failing to file returns when he stood trial in 2008, but his lawyers appealed the verdict and he was freed on bail to challenge the ruling.

He lost the appeal in July (10) and was due to surrender to police on 2 September (10) - but U.S. District Court Judge Terrell Hodges granted him a postponement pending a retrial hearing this month (Nov10).

On Tuesday (16Nov10), Snipes' lawyer Daniel Meachum argued jurors in the 2008 trial had been biased against the star, amid allegations three members of the jury had made up their minds about the case before the court battle began.

Meachum also claimed the verdict was tainted because the jury was not informed that Snipes' former accountant, Kenneth Starr - a key witness against him - was being investigated for engaging in "criminal activities of conspiring to evade income taxes" with another client.

The attorney maintains the jury should have known about the charges against Starr, who has since pleaded guilty to the crime.

But Judge Hodges rejected the case for a new trial on Friday (19Nov10) and Snipes was told he must turn himself in.

He told the Ocala, Florida court, "The Defendant Snipes had a fair trial... The time has come for the judgment to be enforced."

The actor was not present for the hearing. He was convicted for failing to file returns or pay tax on earnings of $38 million (£25.3 million), dating back to 1999.

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