SEATTLE, Washington - Just a few days after I discussed the crackpot theories and cryptic court statements of the adherents of Redemption Theory, I may have stumbled upon Redemption's first celebrity devotee - actor Wesley Snipes.
Snipes's trial for defrauding the government recently kicked off in Florida. He was indicted in 2006, so we've known for some time that he had some interesting ideas on taxation; today in court portions of a letter he wrote to the IRS after the indictment sound like plays from the Moor/Redemption playbook.
In the 600-page declaration signed by Snipes and sent Dec. 4, 2006, Snipes said he had "no ill intent or malice" and didn't want to evade any lawful requirement to pay taxes. But he went on to say the government had "no lawful authority to impose any kind of criminal sanctions."
Snipes declared he had no taxable U.S. income, making the IRS Form 1040 "absolutely the wrong form for me to file." He also claimed taxes withheld were "stolen funds."
The document also warned the government's "illegal collection action" would result in "significant personal liability" for those involved.
He did everything but "fire" the IRS and try to reclaim the funds of his "straw man." He also made this threat, which his lawyer claimed was not a threat:
"Warning - pursuit of such a high profile target will open the door for your increased collateral risk," Snipes wrote. "I certainly don't believe this is in your best interest and can be avoided."
Snipes's accountants apparently tried to use the "861 Argument" on his tax returns, which is an attempt to exploit an alleged statutory loophole to avoid tax. If you're having trouble sleeping you can read the Wikipedia page that discusses various tax protester arguments.
Found via Drudge Report
UPDATE Snipes was acquitted of fraud but found guilt on some more minor charges of failing to file tax returns.