305 371-8101

Movie Star Wesley Snipes Convicted on Three Tax Counts

USA v. SNIPES,  LEXIS 123180  (N.D. FL 2010)

On February 1, 2008, after fourteen days of trial, the jury returned its verdict. The Defendant Snipes was convicted of three counts charging misdemeanor offenses involving willful failure to file his income tax returns for the years 1999, 2000 and 2001. He was acquitted by the jury of other charged offenses, including two felonies. The unanimity of the jury was confirmed by polling.    Sentencing was held on May 1, 2008. Defendant Snipes was sentenced to three one year consecutive terms, aggregating three years imprisonment. He appealed, and was at liberty on bail pending appeal.

The Court of Appeals issued its opinion on July 16, 2010, affirming in all respects the Defendant's conviction and sentence. United States v. Snipes, 611 F.3d 855 (11th Cir. 2010). Petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc was denied on September 29, 2010, and the mandate issued on October 7, 2010.

In the meantime, on July 23, 2010, shortly after the Court of Appeals filed its opinion (but before issuance of its mandate), Defendant Snipes filed a motion for permission to interview jurors about possible misconduct. This was followed a few days later, on August 3, 2010, by a second motion for permission to interview jurors.

The Court held that the motion for permission to interview jurors and the second motion for leave to interview jurors, were both denied. The amended motion for a new trial was denied. The judgment of commitment entered on May 1, 2008  was affirmed in all respects by the Court of Appeals and issued as a mandate on October 7, 2010.

The Court stated that: "the judgment of commitment is due to be, and is, enforced pursuant to the mandate of the Court of Appeals. The motion of the United States to revoke bail is granted, and the Defendant's Motion for Bail Pending Rule 33 Motion is denied".  See United States v. Kelly, 790 F.2d 130, 139 (D.C. Cir.1986) (The Bail Reform Act of 1984 does not provide for bail pending appeal from the denial of a motion for new trial made pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P.33); Cherek v. United States, 767 F.2d 335, 337-38 (7th Cir. 1985) (The Bail Reform Act does not apply to a convicted defendant seeking post conviction relief.).

To the extent that the Court has inherent  discretion to grant bail pending an application for certiorari and/or an appeal from denial of a post- affirmance motion for a new trial, the Court would, and does, exercise that discretion against granting any further delay in the execution of the judgment entered over two and a half years ago. The Defendant  Snipes had a fair trial; 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. The time has come for the judgment to be enforced.
The Defendant, Wesley Trent Snipes, is ordered and directed to surrender himself for execution of  sentence upon receipt of notice from the United States Marshal or the Bureau of Prisons as to where, when and to whom he should report for that purpose".