OCALA, Fla. (US Department of Justice) — U.S. District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges sentenced Wesley Trent Snipes to three years imprisonment Thursday for charges of failing to file income tax returns.
Snipes was found guilty by a jury on February 1. Eddie Ray Kahn, of Sorrento, Florida, was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and Douglas P. Rosile, of Venice, Florida, was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment.
The same jury found Kahn and Rosile guilty of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and presenting a fraudulent claim for payment to the IRS. Kahn was the founder and leader of American Rights Litigators (ARL), a tax protestor organization based in Lake County, Florida. Rosile prepared returns for ARL clients, such as Snipes.
“Snipes’ long prison sentence should send a loud and crystal clear message to all tax defiers that if they engage in similar tax defier conduct, they face joining him and his co-defendants, Kahn and Rosile, as inmates in prison,” said Nathan J. Hochman, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
“The law is very clear: people must pay their taxes,” said Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman. “There is no secret formula that eliminates a person’s tax obligations, nor are there any special exceptions. The majority of Americans pay their taxes timely and accurately. Those who willfully violate the law must be held accountable.”
This case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). It was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, Assistant United States Attorney Scot Morris, and Trial Attorney Jeffrey A. McLellan, U. S. Department of Justice Tax Division.