Friday, December 10, 2010


Wesley Snipes Goes to Jail

He has finally given up on appealing his tax evasion conviction, and earlier today (December 9) Wesley Snipes went to jail.

The “Blade” actor turned himself in to McKean Federal Correctional Institution in Lewis Run, Pennsylvania where he’ll spend the next three years.

Back in 2008, Snipes was found guilty of three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file income taxes, and after a period of time in McKean, he’ll transfer to a minimum security facility.

Charlie Wrangle goes back to work

Ever notice that those who endorse high taxes and those who actually pay them aren’t the same people? Consider the curious case of Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, who is leading the charge for a new 5.4-percentage point income tax surcharge and recently called it “the moral thing to do.” About his own tax liability he seems less, well, fervent.

Exhibit A concerns a rental property Mr. Rangel purchased in 1987 at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic. The rental income from that property ought to be substantial since it is a luxury beach-front villa and is more often than not rented out. But when the National Legal and Policy Center looked at Mr. Rangel’s House financial disclosure forms in August, it noted that his reported income looked suspiciously low. In 2004 and 2005, he reported no more than $5,000, and in 2006 and 2007 no income at all from the property.

The Congressman initially denied there was any unreported income. But reporters quickly showed that the villa is among the most desirable at Punta Cana and that it rents for $500 a night in the low season, and as much as $1,100 a night in peak season. Last year it was fully booked between December 15 and April 15.

Mr. Rangel soon admitted having failed to report rental income of $75,000 over the years. First he blamed his wife for the oversight because he said she was supposed to be managing the property. Then he blamed the language barrier. “Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish,” Mr. Rangel explained.

Despite getting the support of the Queens congressional delegation, the U.S. House voted 333 to 79 last Thursday to censure U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Astoria) for improperly soliciting donations, improperly using a rent-stabilized apartment and tax evasion.

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