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Wesley Snipes Tax Evasion Appeal Denied by Supreme Court

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 06, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Looks like Wesley Snipes' tax evasion conviction is going to stick.

Currently serving out a 3-year sentence, Snipes was hoping that the United States Supreme Court would come to his rescue, overturning his conviction and releasing him back into the world.

His dreams were crushed on Monday morning, with the court summarily denying his appeal without comment.

Wesley Snipes' tax evasion conviction stems from his failure to file and pay federal income taxes on more than $37 million over a multi-year period, reports Reuters.

There was also evidence that he was involved in a tax resisters group.

Snipes has repeatedly appealed his conviction and resulting sentence by arguing that the trial was improperly held in Florida instead of New York, where he physically lived at the time.

In legal terms, he has been arguing that the trial took place in the improper venue.

The location of a trial is determined by jurisdiction and venue. Jurisdiction deals with the proper court system (state or federal), whereas venue deals with the location within that court system.

In federal criminal cases, venue is determined by where the crime took place, and because tax evasion is tied to the person, it makes sense that the crime would take place where he is a resident.

The prosecutors made a good case that Wesley Snipes was technically a resident of Florida at the time because, according to Reuters, he was born there, owned a local home he listed in his contracts, and had a Florida driver's license.

Even though it didn't say so, it seems like the Supreme Court agreed.

So what's next for Wesley Snipes' tax evasion conviction? Nothing. He has no other recourse and will serve out his sentence.

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