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Feds Go for Max Jail Sentence in Snipes Tax Case

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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BLADE BEHIND BARS? Snipes (Photo: Getty Images) In a just-released sentencing recommendation in the Wesley Snipes tax evasion case, the U.S. Attorney seethes with desire to throw the Blade actor in the slammer. He's pushing for a 36-month prison sentence, the max, and a hefty $5 million fine for a "truly notorious offender."

In fact, the prosecutor argues, Snipes should really go to jail for much longer, given the amount of money he's failed to pay, more than $15 million in taxes (100 times the guideline for the maximum sentence) between 1999 and 2001. But the law caps jail time at 36 months. Snipes was convicted on three counts of willfully failing to file income tax returns for those years. The prosecutor also claims Snipes filed a series of bogus forms and claims based on the "861 Argument," a convoluted legal position upon which a minority of tax protesters have claimed exemption from income taxes.

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