Wesley Snipes seeks bail extension after being given prison term

Actor appeals against jail sentence for tax crimes

Wesley Snipes has asked a judge if he can remain free on bail while he pursues a second appeal against a three-year prison term for tax crimes.

No date was set for the surrender of the 48-year-old actor last week (beginning November 15), despite him being told he must begin serving his sentence.

The star of Blade has been on bail since appealing his 2008 conviction for failing to file tax returns.

At the time of his convictions in April of that year, prosecutors said Snipes had earned more than $37million (£24million) in gross income between 1999 and 2004, but had not filed tax returns or paid federal taxes.

Prosecutors have until Tuesday to respond to Snipes‘ request. His lawyers argue he has a legal right to bail while they prepare a fresh appeal against his convictions.

They said in court documents: “Mr Snipes has honoured the court’s trust before, during trial, as well as pending sentencing and appeal. There is no reason to change the court’s judgement now. His ongoing and successful projects in the movie industry further ensure he would not consider fleeing.”

Last week the actor lost his appeal for bail to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal. The day of his sentencing saw Snipes‘ lawyers bring $5million (£3.2million) to court in three envelopes which were accepted by agents from the Internal Revenue Service.