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WILL THE O.J. DEFENSE WORK FOR SNIPES?

June 09, 2007

The Smoking Gun reports that Wesley Snipes is falling back on racial politics in defending himself against tax evasion charges:

JUNE 8--Facing trial in a bizarre tax avoidance scheme, actor Wesley Snipes claims that prosecutors used race as a factor in deciding to charge him with failure to file six years worth of IRS returns. In a motion to dismiss an eight-count indictment filed last October, Snipes argues that he is the victim of selective prosecution. Snipes points to the fact that his two "Caucasian" codefendants, Douglas Rosile and Eddie Kahn, have not been charged with failure to file tax returns, though investigators are aware that Kahn did not file returns for six years and that it was "possible" Rosile did not file for two years.

Mr. Snipes is grasping at straws here. Rosile and Kahn are being prosecuted as the promoters of the tax evasion scheme -- charges likely to lead to longer sentences -- while Mr. Snipes is being prosecuted for using it. And considering how Mr. Kahn remains in custody as a flight risk while Mr. Snipes is free on bond, it's not clear how the white guy is getting favored treatment.

In addition to playing the race card, Mr. Snipes tries to improve his hand by playing the victim card, saying he was:

...actually a victim of "unscrupulous tax advice," not a willing participant in a criminal conspiracy hatched by Rosile and Kahn. As such, a second motion notes, Snipes is mulling a lawsuit against his two codefendants "to recover the losses he suffered as a result of his reliance upon the advice given to him."

Reliance on Mr. Kahn for tax advice says something about Mr. Snipes' judgement. Here's what the invaluable Quatloos.com has to say about Mr. Kahn (my emphasis):

Eddie Kahn of "American Rights Litigators" represents the Hee-Haw contingent of the tax protestor movement...Eddie caters to the dumbest of the dumb, and his theories for not paying taxes are thus the dumbest of the dumb. Eddie has claimed variously that he can't find the Form 1040, that the IRS was not created by Congress and apparently just materialized out of the blue, that the IRS doesn't have the power to collect taxes, that the United States doesn't actually include the states, but is actually limited to the District of Columbia, that all the money collected from taxes goes to the International Monetary Fund (Eddie doesn't say who pays for our aircraft carriers, but what the hey), and that so long as keep out of the Social Security Program that you'll never have to file taxes... It seems that if somebody has tried a theory, lost, and then gone to jail than Eddie will then take it and advocate it as gospel.

Perhaps this means the defense will argue that if you are dumb enough to take advice from Eddie Kahn, you lack the mental capacity to intend to evade taxes. Hey, they doubted that O.J.'s defense would work, too.

Prior Tax Update Snipes Coverage:

IRS GOES SNIPES HUNTING

WELCOME HOME, WESLEY

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