Washington, Apr 25 : American actor Wesley Snipes has been sentenced to three years imprisonment, following failure to file his tax returns.
The 45-year-old actor was convicted for failing to file a tax return from 1999 through 2001, by a federal court in February. He was accused of owing a total of 41 million dollars in taxes, of which he paid 5 dollars at the sentencing.
U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges announced the punishment in an Ocala, Fla., courtroom.
After the judgement, Snipes said, "I'm very sorry for my mistakes and errors. I apologize to my family, the court and the community."
"I've asked the court to show me mercy and the opportunity to make things right," he added.
The 'Blade' star, however, was cleared off from the serious charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and filing a false claim for a 7 million dollar refund both felonies, as well as three similar counts of failure to file returns for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004.
The defence, on the contrary, has sought probation rather than prison time.
"Wesley Snipes is not a dangerous man who needs to be imprisoned to protect the public," said Snipes' attorney in his sentencing memo.