The actor's lawyers are requesting a new trial that would put his former financial adviser Kenneth Starr in charge of his tax evasion conviction.
Wesley Snipes' attorneys are requesting judicial officials in Georgia dismiss their petition appealing the actor's tax evasion conviction following the arrest of his former financial adviser. "The Blade" star was convicted of three misdemeanor counts of wilful failure to file his income tax return in 2008. He is currently free pending an appeal to reduce a three-year prison sentence on U.S. federal tax charges.
Meanwhile, Snipes' one-time accountant, celebrity investor Kenneth Starr, was busted in May and accused of embezzling a massive $30 million from stars including the action star, Uma Thurman and Martin Scorsese. Starr has been charged with wire fraud, investment adviser fraud and money laundering amid claims he used the stolen cash to buy a luxurious Manhattan apartment.
Snipes' lawyers are hoping Starr's arrest will help the actor's own case, and they filed papers in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, June 23, asking for judges to ignore their petition for an appeal.
Instead, Snipes' attorneys want to lodge a new petition asking to have the star's conviction dismissed, or set up a new trial on the grounds that the actor was the victim of a "miscarriage of justice". They argue that prosecutors were aware Starr was under federal investigation for his own tax violations when he was called to testify against Snipes in his 2008 trial, calling into question the adviser's credibility.
In the legal papers, Snipes' lawyer Daniel Meachum states that the charges against Starr "revealed new evidence pointing to a miscarriage of justice at Mr. Snipes' trial".