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Actor Wesley Snipes Says Race Impacted Prosecution on Tax Evasion Charges

Wesley Snipes claims his race has worsened prosecution for his present tax problems.

In a June 4 motion to dismiss an indictment on federal charges of tax evasion, the African-American actor's attorneys claimed prosecutors filed additional charges against Snipes and not two other, Caucasian defendants.

The October 17 indictment charges Snipes with fraudulently claiming refunds totalling nearly $12 million in 1996 and 1997 for income taxes already paid. The 44-year-old actor is also charged with failure to file income tax returns from 1999 through 2004.

According to the indictment, his income tax preparers have a history of filing false returns to reap illegal payments for their clients.

A federal judge is still considering the motions.

Wesley Snipes' manager and attorneys did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment, nor did a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.