Snipes' attorneys: Race played a role in tax charges against him

OCALA, Fla. (AP) -- Actor Wesley Snipes' attorneys say their client is being targeted in a federal tax evasion case because he is black.

In recent motions filed in Florida, the attorneys also say the movie star is a victim of "unscrupulous tax advice."

Their statements echo what Snipes has said about the charges all along.

Filed last October, the indictment charges Snipes with fraudulently claiming refunds totaling nearly 12 (m) million dollars in 1996 and 1997 for income taxes already paid. The star of the "Blade" trilogy and other films also was charged with failure to file returns from 1999 through 2004.

Snipes' attorneys moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that prosecutors filed more charges against him and not against two co-defendants because they are "Caucasian, while Mr. Snipes is African-American."

A federal judge is still considering the motion.

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