Date: 6th December 2010

Wesley Snipes ordered to prison for tax evasion

Wesley Snipes has been ordered to surrender at a federal prison in the US state of Pennsylvania to begin a three-year sentence for tax evasion.

The star of the Blade films was ordered to report to a prison in the town of Lewis Run on 9 December.

Snipes asked a judge last week to let him remain free on bail while he appeals to the US Supreme Court to overturn his conviction.

The actor, 48, was convicted in 2008 for failing to file tax returns.

Snipes appealed to a court in Atlanta in the US state of Georgia after being found guilty by a jury in Florida. But the court upheld the conviction and sentence.

The actor's lawyers then argued last month that Snipes had a legal right to remain on bail while they prepared a fresh appeal.

Snipes's lawyers also said at hearing in the town of Ocala in Florida last month that jurors should be interviewed about whether they had perjured themselves by stating during jury selection that they did not have preconceived opinions about the actor.

His lawyer, Daniel Meachum, said he had received e-mails from multiple jurors, who claimed others in the jury believed the actor was guilty before the trial began.

At the time of his conviction in April 2008, prosecutors said Snipes had earned more than $37m (24m) in gross income between 1999 and 2004, but had not filed tax returns or paid any federal taxes.

Source: Press Release