*In an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Tuesday night, Wesley Snipes said he relied on the advice of tax professionals and doesn’t believe he deserves a three-year prison sentence for failing to pay taxes. [Watch below.]
The 48-year-old actor will report to McKean Federal Correctional Institution in Lewis Run, Pennsylvania, Thursday to begin serving a three-year sentence for failing to file tax returns. Snipes told King his case has been misrepresented in the media and he wanted to clear the air.
“It’s been presented as though I’m worthy of this kind of punishment,” Snipes said. “It’s been presented as though ‘He’s getting his just due.’ Larry, I’ve been a law abiding citizen ever since I grew up in the Bronx, New York. I think all of us as Americans are due due process and have a right to a fair trial, and have a right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. I think that is the American way and the foundation upon which this country was built…”
King cut him off: “But you did lose in trial and you lost your appeals. So that’s the American system, too.”
Snipes said he’s not nervous about reporting to jail on Thursday, but was still hopeful that his prayers would be answered.
“We still have prayers out there. We still believe in miracles. So don’t send me up the river yet,” Snipes said.
His lawyer, Daniel R. Meachum, also on the program, added: “We have not turned our heads into turning Mr. Snipes in to the facility. We have made inroads to try to make sure that there is some possibility of reprieve. And so we will fight and do that to the very last minute.
Snipes’ attorney said he is appealing Snipes’ misdemeanor convictions for not filing tax returns in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The 48-year-old star of the “Blade” trilogy was acquitted of felony charges, but convicted in 2008 on three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file income tax returns.