Wesley Snipes loses appeal in tax case

MIAMI Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:59am EDT

Actor Wesley Snipes clasps his hands while walking into the federal courthouse for sentencing in Ocala, Florida, April 24, 2008. S REUTERS/Scott Audette

Actor Wesley Snipes clasps his hands while walking into the federal courthouse for sentencing in Ocala, Florida, April 24, 2008. S

Credit: Reuters/Scott Audette

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MIAMI (Reuters) - Actor Wesley Snipes is headed for jail after losing his appeal of a three-year prison sentence for failing to file income tax returns for 1999 through 2001.

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the 47-year-old actor's 2008 conviction in an Ocala, Florida, court for three misdemeanors stemming from felony tax charges.

At his sentencing in April 2008, prosecutors said Snipes, a Florida native who has a residence in Windermere, had earned more than $38 million since 1999, but had filed no tax returns or paid any taxes.

In his appeal, the actor claimed that the sentence was unreasonable and he should have been considered for probation.

The star of the "Blade" trilogy who most recently appeared as a former convict in "Brooklyn's Finest," also said the lower court should have allowed him to argue for a change of venue from Florida to New York.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his appeal. The ruling did not specify when or where Snipes was due to report to prison.

(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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