What the Wesley?

by Matthew Curtis
October 19, 2006 4:59 AM
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What the hell happened to Wesley Snipes? The Orlando-born actor--who grew up in the Bronx but returned to Central Florida to graduate from Jones High School and later live in the ritzy Isleworth neighborhood (alongside the likes of Shaq, Tiger, etc.)--hasn't made a decent movie in years and is apparently in some deep shit with the IRS. A career that started out so promising with films like JUNGLE FEVER, THE WATERDANCE, WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP, NEW JACK CITY, and even the first BLADE movie (a fairly cool comic book adaptation by any standard), has deteriorated into formulaic genre crap that's not even worth checking out on cable. Wesley may still mean box office in certain parts of the world, but it seems like his body of work could've been so much more.

And now he's under indictment for eight counts of tax fraud for submitting bogus checks worth $14 million for his estimated tax liabilities in recent years. He also attempted to receive (unsuccessfully) refunds worth more than $11 million from taxes he already paid in 1996 and 1997. But wait, there's more--the action star and producer apparently failed to file tax returns for six years from 1999 to 2004, and all told, could face up to 16 years in prison. This is on top of the local nearly $2 million-dollar home he lost in a foreclosure auction, the paternity suit from a couple of years ago, and the recent lawsuit his former agents at UTA filed for unpaid commissions. Clearly a pattern has emerged.

Snipes hasn't been arrested yet because authorities cannot find him. What a waste of talent.

--Matthew

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