In a motion filed last week, lawyers for action star Wesley Snipes asked that tax fraud and tax evasion charges against him be dismissed, claiming that he is being targeted because he is African-American. The eight-count indictment, filed last October, charges Snipes and two Florida men with conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and presenting fraudulent claims for payment totaling almost $12 million. Snipes also faces six counts of failing to file income tax returns between 1999 and 2004. The motion notes that although co-defendant Eddie Ray Kahn, the founder of tax scheme promoter American Rights Litigator, had not filed tax returns from 1997 to 2002, he was not charged with failing to file. It was also "possible" that co-defendant and tax preparer Douglas P. Rosile had not filed in 2003 and 2004, but no charges were brought against him. Both Kahn and Rosile, the motion points out, are "Caucasian." Snipes has maintained all along that he was simply the victim of bad tax advice, and that the charges against him were racially based. As further evidence of "selective prosecution," the motion points out that while American Rights Litigator had over 2,000 clients, Snipes was the only one to be prosecuted. His lawyers ask that, should the case continue, he be granted discovery rights to determine the race and tax return status of those other clients, and whether any face charges. In addition, the motion claims that Snipes was singled out because he asked the examining agents to send him written copies of the questions they wished to discuss with him, refused to acknowledge the illegitimacy of his tax strategy, and because he possesses a "national platform" to publicize the issue. Finally, the motion also reveals that Snipes' middle name is Trent.
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