- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2008

Actor Wesley Snipes must surrender to prison authorities June 3 if he isn’t granted bail to appeal three federal tax convictions, defense lawyers said in a court filing.

According to Associated Press, Snipes‘ attorneys plan to argue before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the trial judge erred in several ways before and after their client’s February conviction. U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges last month sentenced Snipes to three years in prison.

Prosecutors said Snipes, 45, had no major issues to raise and has demonstrated he could flee. In a Monday filing, U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill said Snipes told the probation office he had less than $10,000 in liquid assets, but the actor surprised the government by producing $5 million in payment for back taxes at his sentencing.

Snipes, star of the “Blade” trilogy, “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Jungle Fever” and other films, hasn’t filed a tax return since 1998, the government said.

Emmy Award-winning actor Joe Pantoliano - best-known as murdering mobster Ralph Cifaretto until Tony rubbed him out in the fourth season of “The Sopranos” - will join several fellow actors (including Matt Dillon and Joe Mantegna) on Capitol Hill today to stress the need for increased awareness to support anti-stigma efforts and equal rights for those with mental illnesses.

Mr. Pantoliano is president and founder of No Kidding, Me Too! a nonprofit organization that is working to diminish the stigma associated with mental illness and remove barriers that stand in the way of proper treatment. The actor says he decided to go public about his battle with depression - against the advice of his attorney and manager - after playing the role of a blue-collar worker dealing with his wife’s schizophrenia in the film “Canvas.”

Finally, some good news about Amy Winehouse: The trouble-prone singer will perform at this summer’s Glastonbury Festival in England, AP reports.

She will play the festival’s main Pyramid Stage on June 28, just before headliner Jay-Z, organizers announced yesterday, adding that the late inclusion of Miss Winehouse in the lineup wasn’t the result of the singer’s turbulent personal life.

Miss Winehouse, 24, was arrested and questioned by police earlier this month about video footage that appeared to show her inhaling fumes from a crack pipe. Police later said she wouldn’t be charged.

Lou Pearlman, the man who created the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync, was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in federal prison for engineering a decades-long scam that bilked thousands of investors out of their life savings.

It was the maximum sentence the boy-band mogul could receive for reportedly swindling about $300 million from investors and banks since the early 1980s, AP said. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of conspiracy and single counts of money laundering and presenting a false claim in bankruptcy court.

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