A US court heard yesterday that actor Wesley Snipes was warned against taking
the advice of accountants who convinced him he did not have to pay taxes by his
long-time tax advisor Kenneth Star.
But Snipes ignored Starr’s advice on the word of another
Hollywood star and friend, Sylvester Stallone, who sued
Starr in 2002, alleging his bad advice cost him $7m.
The advice of the two accountants – Eddie Kahn of the tax protest groups
American Rights Litigators and Guiding Light of God Ministries, and Douglas
Rosile – who stand trial with Snipes, as led to the trial for tax fraud and
conspiracy relating to £19,404,987 in unpaid taxes.
US attorney general Robert O’Neill told the court that the star of Blade
stopped paying his tax bill in 2000 after he met Kahn and Rosile.
According to O’Neill, the two persuaded Snipes to default his payments on the
basis of a misinterpretation of a US tax code known as the ‘861 argument’ which
states that only wages earned by US citizens outside America are subject to tax.
The team representing Snipes maintain that he was the victim of unscrupulous
advisers and that he did not intentionally break the law.
The actor faces 16 years in prison if conviction is successful.
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