United States District Court Judge ordered Wesley Snipes to surrender to the United States Marshals on Friday to begin his three year federal prison sentence for alleged federal tax evasion and other tax-related federal crimes.
As a federal crimes attorney in Los Angeles, I am somewhat surprised by this outcome. Although the Federal Sentencing Guidelines certainly limit a Judge's discretion to order straight probation, or electronic monitoring in a federal criminal case, I have found that with respect to federal financial crimes, such as federal medical fraud, federal tax fraud, and other financial-type federal offenses such as receiving illegal kick-backs, it is often possible to obtain a no prison sentence, when the amount of loss/fraud can be repaid up front, and the amount of loss/restitution involved is not a substantial amount.
Of course without being privy to crucial details, such as the amount of loss which the Federal Government has alleged, it is difficult to provide an opinion regarding a reasonable federal sentence in his case.
Although subsequent to the federal prison sentence ordered by the Judge, Mr. Snipe's attorney argued for a new trial, the motion was denied. Mr. Snipes attorney has stated that he will appeal with the United States Supreme Court; however, the chance of Mr. Snipe's having a new trial granted, or having his sentenced reversed, is slight.
What remains clear, and perhaps even comes across as refreshing to some, is that “celebrity justice” does not appear to have created a sentencing disparity in the federal criminal justice system. Mr. Snipes received an actual federal prison sentence just like any other potential defendant fighting a federal financial case.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a federal tax crime, then call for a free, confidential consultation with an experienced and aggressive federal criminal lawyer at White Goldstein: (877) 779-3946 or (877) 77 WE-WIN.