Admit it, if you were Wesley Snipes and facing 3 years in prison for a tax evasion scheme, you’d try to bribe the prosecutor too. Well, not bribe, but maybe a big payment, you know… pay a… fine. $5 million in a lump sum might do. Or maybe not. It sort of reminds one of an encounter with Mexican police.
“You, vandalizing that payphone, you are under arrest.”
“What are you talking about? I was calling my girlfriend.”
“You’ve been drinking.”
“You’re under arrest. Public intoxication.”
“Uh, maybe I can… just pay a fine? Right here? How about, say, $5 million?”
I think it works better in Mexico.
One comment that alarms me came from the prosecutor:
This case cries out for the statutory maximum term of imprisonment, as well as a substantial fine, because of the seriousness of defendant Snipes’ crimes and because of the singular opportunity this case presents to deter tax crime nationwide.
Am I the only one uncomfortable with the prospect that nationwide deterrence would be a legitimate cause for augmenting criminal penalties?
Apparently, the argument was at least somewhat compelling. Snipes got 3 years. Ouch.
Wesley Snipes Gets 36 Months In Prison [WSJ Law Blog]