U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Wesley Snipes' Tax Evasion Convictions Affirmed, and Bankruptcy Matter

In US v. Snipes, No. 08-12402, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed actor Wesley Snipes' convictions, after a jury trial, on three counts of willful failure to file individual federal income tax returns, on the grounds that 1) because the general extension of the motions deadline by the district court could not have waived 18 U.S.C. section 3237(b)'s clear twenty-day deadline, the district court's denial of the five-month late elective transfer motion was not an abuse of discretion; 2) there was no abuse of discretion in refusing to grant a novel pretrial, post-grand jury hearing to challenge the claimed venue found in a facially sufficient indictment; and 3) defendant's sentence did not create an unlawful disparity because the district court noted that misdemeanants who, like defendant, had willfully failed to file their personal income tax returns, had engaged in similar behavior to the felons who had received similar sentences.

In In re: Tennyson, No. 09-14628, the Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's affirmance of the bankruptcy court's confirmation of debtor's Chapter 13 plan, holding that an above median income debtor, with negative disposable income, may not obtain confirmation of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan to last for less than five years when the debtor's unsecured creditors have not been paid in full.

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