The actor Wesley Snipes has been released from a US prison in Pennsylvania after serving more than two years for tax evasion.
Snipes was convicted in 2008 after failing to pay any federal taxes despite earning a reported $37m (£24m) between 1999 and 2004. However, the star of Blade and Demolition Man failed to report to prison until December 2010, during which time he lodged a number of appeals. He was originally sentenced to three years in jail but will now serve the remainder of his time under home confinement. A spokesman for the US Bureau of Corrections told the Associated Press Snipes would be overseen by the New York community corrections office until 19 July.
Snipes, 50, argued in court that he was being unfairly targeted by prosecutors because of his fame and cited his college education, family and charitable activities as mitigating factors. However, United States district judge William Terrell Hodges ruled the actor had shown a "history of contempt over a period of time" for US tax laws. Snipes reportedly belonged to a group that challenged the government's right to collect taxes. Prosecutors said he failed to file returns for at least a decade.
There have been suggestions that Snipes might be recruited for Sylvester Stallone's Expendables films once released from prison, but in the meantime the actor is due to star in the fantasy horror Gallowwalkers as a cursed gunman whose victims return as zombie warriors bent on revenge.
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