The first week of Wesley Snipes' tax evasion trial wrapped up with testimony from a former employee of his production company. Carmen Baker testified that Mr. Snipes told her to stop withholding from salaries. When she spoke to her own accountant, she opted to continue to pay her own taxes, which displeased Mr. Snipes. From Ocala.com:
"I got called into the office, and I was told that I was being a difficult employee and told that I should not have called an accountant," she said. "He said, 'If you're not going to play along with the game plan, then you need to find employment elsewhere.'"
Baker remained with the company for three more years, she added.
To this observer who is, though, looking at the trial from 3000 miles away, it doesn't look like Mr. Snipes had a good week. First, Mr. Snipes went to trial in a locale which he has previously described as "racist," Ocala, Florida. An attorney that Mr. Snipes supposedly dismissed showed up as one of his attorneys, too. Second, the prosecution has presented evidence showing that Mr. Snipes' previous accountant, Kenneth Starr, told him that the idea that he didn't have to pay income tax on his millions of dollars of income was laughable.
At this point the only thing we know about the defense is that they plan on calling character witnesses such as Barbara Walters and Muhammad Ali. I think they're going to need a lot more than that for Mr. Snipes to avoid spending significant time at ClubFed.
The trial resumes tomorrow.
UPDATE: More from the White Collar Crime Prof Blog.
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