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Wesley Snipes Speaks Out

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Apr. 25 2008, Published 9:44 a.m. ET

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Wesley Snipes is speaking out about his 3-year jail sentence for tax evasion. On Thursday, the actor read aloud from a prepared statement, apologizing for what he called "costly mistakes," and insisting he was the victim of crooked advisors, a liability of wealth and celebrity that attracted "Wolves and jackals like flies are attracted to meat."

"I am an idealistic, naive,passionate, truth seeking, spritually motivated artist," Snipes said, adding, "and unschooled in the science of law and finance."

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The star of White Men Can't Jump and the Blade trilogy, was in prison yesterday for willfully not filing his taxes--the maximum punishment one can receive.

The actor's lawyers argued that his sentence was too harsh for a first time offender convicted of three misdemeanors and recommended that he be given home detention instead and ordered to make public service announcements.

But U.S. District Judge, William Terrell Hodges, said Snipes exhibited a "history of contempt over a period of time" for U.S. tax laws.

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"The sentencing court sends the right message to the American taxpayer--you've got to pay your taxes," U.S. attorney Robert O'Neill said. "Rich, poor, it doesn't matter. We all pay our taxes."

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