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Wesley Snipes ordered to jail for tax evasion

MIAMI, November 19, 2010 (AFP) – A US federal court on Friday rejected a request for a new trial for Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes and ordered him to report to prison to serve his three-year sentence for tax evasion.

Snipes, star of movies like “Demolition Man” and the “Blade” vampire trilogy, was convicted in 2008 of evading taxes totaling some 20 million dollars, but had appealed his sentence and sought a new trial.

The 48-year-old Hollywood star had a “fair trial” but now needs to report to jail, said Judge William Terrell Hodges in Snipes’s home state of Florida.

“He has had a full, fair, and thorough review of his conviction and sentence by the Court of Appeals; and he has had a full, fair, and thorough review of his present claims, during all of which he has remained at liberty,” Hodges said.

“The time has come for the judgment to be enforced.”

The actor had been accused of failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2004, in a case in which Snipes described himself as “an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance.”

Snipes first rose to fame in the 1980s when he was cast in the video for Michael Jackson’s single “Bad.”

A martial arts fanatic, Snipes is famous for inserting quotations from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” into his characters’ roles.

Snipes also starred in “White Men Can’t Jump,” and Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever.”

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