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Appeals Court: No Delay in Snipes Trial

  People in the News  -   POSTED: 2008/01/09 11:45

Wesley Snipes' attempt to delay his federal tax-evasion trial was denied Tuesday by a federal appeals court in Atlanta.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion from Snipes' legal team to delay the trial, which is set to begin Jan. 14. The court also granted federal prosecutors' motion to dismiss a defense request seeking to move the trial out of Ocala, about 80 miles north of Orlando.

A federal indictment charges Snipes with fraudulently claiming refunds totaling almost $12 million in 1996 and 1997 for income taxes already paid. Snipes was also charged with failure to file returns from 1999 through 2004.

The 45-year-old star of the "Blade" trilogy and other films is accused of conspiring with American Rights Litigators founder Eddie Ray Kahn and tax preparer Douglas P. Rosile Sr. to file false refund claims using a bogus argument that only income from foreign sources was subject to taxation.

Snipes' lawyers had argued that he cannot get a fair trial in Ocala. Snipes previously filed two motions to dismiss or transfer the trial because of racial prejudices.

The defense said Snipes had the right to a trial in New York, where he lived between October 2000 and April 2005 when the offenses allegedly occurred, or in Orlando, where he also has a home.

A message left with Snipes' attorney by The Associated Press was not immediately returned Tuesday evening.


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