Celebrities, Tax Law, White-Collar Crime

Stephen Baldwin Plea Agreement — Thank God We Won’t Lose His Acting Genius

April’s right around the corner. Earlier today I finalized my taxes for last year. It’s never a pleasant task, but at least I had a better go of it than Stephen Baldwin.

Baldwin, the youngest of the Baldwin brothers, ran headlong into a mess of money troubles over the years and responded by ducking out on his taxes. To be precise, $350,000 worth of New York state taxes.

Now, according to his lawyer, the actor has reached an agreement with prosecutors that may not “restore” him, but is certainly better than the alternative…

Bladwin’s lawyer, Russell Yankwitt, explained that his client will avoid prison time completely and have up to five years to pay back his tax bill.

This is a positive development, though it’s not clear how Stephen will manage to come up with the cash. AMC broadcast the Usual Suspects the other day and I realized to my chagrin that it came out 18 years ago. Since then, Baldwin hasn’t starred in anything remotely close to a blockbuster since.

But his lawyer seems to think Baldwin can get the cash together relatively quickly:

Yankwitt said that under a tentative agreement, Baldwin will plead guilty this month to a tax felony.

He says if Baldwin pays the money within a year, his record will be wiped clean. If not, he will be sentenced to probation and given five years to pay back the money.

Maybe Baldwin can use a boost from his buddies at All That Know Him, the folks that started the Restore Stephen Baldwin movement to help him get back on his financial feet because… they thought he was Job or something. If you feel like revisiting the unhinged video asking all of us to give our hard-earned cash to Stephen Baldwin to reward him for being a born-again Christian incapable of balancing his checkbook, here you go.

The Job comparison is ludicrous. I’m not a Biblical scholar, but Satan destroyed all of Job’s livestock, murdered all his children, and struck him with boils. But, Job didn’t have to star in Bio-Dome. Advantage: Job.

Lawyer: Stephen Baldwin to Avoid Jail in Tax Case [Miami Herald]

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