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Prosecutors urge immediate jail for actor Snipes


Wesley Snipes arrives at the Venice Film Festival September 7, 2009. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
Wesley Snipes arrives at the Venice Film Festival September 7, 2009. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors asked a judge on Wednesday to revoke bail for actor Wesley Snipes and order him to prison immediately to begin serving a three-year sentence for failing to file federal income tax returns.

"There is no good reason to delay his surrender," prosecutors argued in a motion to revoke Snipes' bail, according to court records.

A hearing on the motion is pending.

Snipes' attorney, Daniel Meachum, told Reuters he would respond soon to the prosecutors' motion.

He would not provide details but said the defense motions would be filed in both the district and appellate courts.

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the 47-year-old actor's 2008 conviction in an Ocala, Florida, court for three misdemeanors stemming from felony tax charges.

Snipes, star of the "Blade" movie trilogy, was charged in a 2006 indictment with trying to illegally collect a $7.3 million federal tax refund and failing to file tax returns from 2000 to 2005.

In his appeal, the actor claimed the sentence was unreasonable and that he should have been considered for probation.

Snipes also argued on appeal that the District Court should have allowed him to argue for a change of venue to New York from Florida.

The appellate court rejected those arguments, along with Snipes' claim that the trial court judge should have considered mitigating factors at sentencing such as his college education, his family and charitable activities.

The appellate court ruling did not specify when or where Snipes, who has a residence in Windermere, Florida, was due to report to prison.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

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