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Judge rules federal tax-evasion trial for Wesley Snipes will remain in Ocala, Florida

Judge rules federal tax-evasion trial for Wesley Snipes will remain in Ocala, Florida

Wesley Snipes' federal tax-evasion trial will go forward next month in this central Florida city, despite arguments by the actor's lawyers.
The rulings were made by U.S. District Judge William T. Hodges on Monday, according to court documents.
A telephone message left for Snipes' attorney was not immediately returned Thursday morning.
His lawyers had claimed the 45-year-old actor cannot get a fair trial in Ocala, located about 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of Orlando. Snipes previously filed two motions to dismiss or transfer the trial because of racial prejudices.
Federal prosecutors have previously said there is "no basis in reality" for Snipes' claims.
An October 2006 federal indictment charges Snipes with fraudulently claiming refunds totaling almost $12 million (euro8.33 million) in 1996 and 1997 for income taxes already paid. The star of the "Blade" trilogy and other films also was charged with failure to file returns from 1999 through 2004.
Snipes allegedly conspired with American Rights Litigators founder Eddie Ray Kahn and tax preparer Douglas P. Rosile Sr. to file false refund claims based on a bogus argument that only income from foreign sources was subject to taxation.
Lawyers argued Snipes had the right to a trial in New York, where he lived between October 2000 and April 2005 when the offenses allegedly occurred, or in Orlando, where he also has a home.


Updated : 2021-07-25 15:49 GMT+08:00