Snipes arrested in tax fraud case

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Actor Wesley Snipes has been arrested in Orlando after surrendering himself to authorities on tax fraud charges.

The 44-year-old flew into an Orlando airport and gave himself up, a spokesman for his new film said.

An arrest warrant was issued in October for the Hollywood star over reports he had dodged millions of dollars in taxes in 1996 and 1997.

He says he is a scapegoat and has been unfairly targeted. If convicted he faces up to 16 years in prison.

Mr Snipes was filming Gallow Walker in Namibia when the arrest warrant was issued.

He was not forced to leave the country as the African nation does not have an extradition treaty with the US.

Ian Thompson, a spokesman for Sheer Films, which is producing Gallow Walker, told the Associated Press that Mr Snipes planned to return to Namibia after the court appearance to finish work on the film.


The actor has also been charged with failure to file tax returns from 1999 through to 2004 and conspiring with two men to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which collects taxes in the US.

Mr Snipes' former accountant has already surrendered to authorities.

The actor's first role was in Goldie Hawn's 1986 American football comedy Wildcats, and he later appeared in the video for Michael Jackson's Bad, which was directed by Martin Scorsese.

He also appeared in hit films such as White Men Can't Jump, New Jack City and the Blade trilogy.