Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why oh Why?

I am a huge fan of Wesley Snipes so i am very disturbed and disappointed with him after reading the news article below. He has made money and should know better, so why?

TAMPA, Florida (AP) -- Movie actor Wesley Snipes, star of "White Men Can't Jump" and the "Blade" films, 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.

Federal prosecutors said that Snipes fraudulently claimed refunds totaling nearly $12 million in 1996 and 1997 on income taxes already paid. (Watch authorities describe Snipes' tactics -- 1:03 ). The indictment also charged him with failure to file returns between 1999 and 2004. (FindLaw.com: Read the indictment).

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.

In 2002, the Justice Department sued a Florida tax preparer who it said filed bogus tax refund claims, including a $7.3 million demand for Snipes. Snipes was not named as a defendant in that case, but the lawsuit said the preparer's largest claim was an amended income tax return filed on behalf of the actor and dated April 14, 2001. The return requested a $7,360,755 refund for taxes paid in 1997. The return said that Snipes' adjusted gross income was zero, according to the lawsuit.

It said the preparer, Douglas P. Rosile Sr., told clients that only income from foreign sources was subject to taxation. The resolution of that lawsuit could not be immediately determined.
Snipes is the star of the "Blade" trilogy and as well as films such as Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" and "Passenger 57."

In 2005, South Africa refused to admit him after officials said he tried to enter the country with a forged passport.


Daddy's Girl said...

Na wa o, how razz is that? I think we would be surprised at how many greedy rich people are up those book-cooking shenanigans, though. I think a lot of them get away with it. Maybe Wesley just hired the second-rate guys! Seriously, some people just can't stand to give a red cent to the state. But why risk getting caught and being embarrassed?

Uzo said...

Its really sad and very embarrassing. News this morning has it that a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Maybe he did hire second rate people but this firm has a history of shadiness. And the thing about carrying a forged passport? I am very disappointed.

You would think that since certain people already are worth so much, they could afford to do things properly. This same tax evasion issue has Mr Ronald Isley aka Mr Biggs indicted and sentenced a few months ago.

LondonBuki said...

If it is true... did he really think he could get away with that???

And forged passport as well?

Na wa oh.

Soul said...

here's what gets my back up.

Firstly, Wesley doesn#t run his own accounts, that's what accountants are for, and he has toomany companies for him to be running his own accounts, so at some point somebody would have been at the forefront of fiddling his accounts.
The things he is accused off are impossible to do without a dodgy accountant. period.

Now secondly, tax evation is a very common charge that the rich and amous face at some point, if they do not have multiple lawyers and accountants and people they trust checking their stuff.

Why is this a big story?.
Why is the story being painted as something that's unbelievable.
This happens all the time, and then either the actor/actress/ musician then goes public and says I didn't know, I trusted my accoutants ..blah blah blah..
Isn't this why Toni Braxton in part had to declare herself bankrupt?. Didn't this almost happen to Jermaine Dupri? until they figured out the IRS made a mistake or something, this has happened to soo many artists even TLC owed the tax man soo much after their first debut that they had to stay on their grind to pay the money off.

This has happened to Liz taylor, Michael Jackson e.t.c.
Why are they making this such a big deal about Wesley?

I'm not saying that attempting to defraud the govt. is great but this news has been blown way beyond.
The timing is crazy. why did this break before hthe news of his arrest?.

I'd also like to believe the forged passport stuff, but I just don't.
They don't just send you back when you try to use a forged passport! It's a criminal offence, you get deported, and why didn't the news at the time make a big deal out of this... no sir.. this story get beyond k-leg lol

Uzo said...

@Soul: Hmm. Celebrities play the I didnt know card quite a bit. Not really sure what to make of this.

I know that this has happened to other celebs and i think the reason why this is getting so much buzz is because the amounts in question are quite hefty. There is also the fact that according to the news story, its not just tax evasion.

Tax evasion means u simply dont pay taxes. However, in the US, every tax season, you file taxes and make claims and the IRS refunds you based on these claims. According to the stories, the IRS paid wesley about $7.3 million in refunds as a result of false claims. Now i am sure he didnt file his own taxes but an extra $7.3 million would be hard not to notice.

I always check for reactions to gauge the plausibility of claims. This story hit 3 days ago. There have been no comments of rebutal by his people or any "sources". Considering that this is a potential career & freedom ender, i would think his PR people would be rushing around issuing statements. Even Wesley should have been advised by his spin doctors to say something as silly as "the claims will be duly sorted out".

The response or lack thereof is telling.

Maybe the IRS made a mistake???? Maybe its all being blown out of proportion. No matter what the outcome is, this should be a lesson to all to maybe not lay too much faith in the people you pay to have your best interests at heart.

The way i see it, he had accountants that were dodgy, there should have been finance managers etc that should have realised that things werent so straight and advised him accordingly. Was this done? The accountants must be getting a little more than their fee to do something so grossly illegal so where would these additional fees be coming from?

I could go on and on but Wesley shares some blame in this no matter the outcome.

Oprah Winfrey always says "Sign all your own checks". It may seem tedious if you are dealing with millions but i think it makes a lot of sense.

DiAmOnD hawk said...

girl i was going to quote Oprah too. remember when Toni Braxton was on her show saying she didnt know how she became bankrupt? Oprah straight up said she knows where EVERYTHING is going...

apparently Mr.Snipes is missing o... can we say GUILTY AS CHARGED??????

Calabar Gal said...

I suppose this is a classic case of "Big Man, Big Trouble". I dont envy all these stars and celebrities and the astronomical amount they pay as taxes. That must have brought about an urge to try and get it back from the govt who dont deserve such a big chunk of their hard earned labour. Well, with a slick attorney, he may get through this one just like OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson

Anonymous said...

Whao... Wesley Snipes.. dude from Blade 1,2 and 3.. they'll make him toss salads in jail.. no more action movies for him...

Soul said...


Toss salad ke!. He is Blade!! half human half vampire, se u know say Wesley get like 7 Dan level black belt. i'd like to see someone try it with that man. Instead na im salad go get tossed o.

Uzo.. I see what you are saying, but I do have to add.. a lot of people hire accountants to help them write things off, and many people think, if i pay someone to do their job, I've paid them to do their job. This is something his accountants would have done, not him. But ultimately he is responsible.

Let's not also forget that most of these people are financially illiterate, just like 90% of the population, just because they make big money doesn't mean that they know how to retain it. which is why they have teams of accountants, unfortunately they mistake thier accountants for family and think, i'm paying you major dough.... you will never cheat me. but they do.