Not long ago, Stephen Baldwin was saying how his faith had nearly cost him his career because Hollywood wasn’t into overtly Christian actors. Just hours ago, he was arrested for tax evasion, a felony, it has emerged.
As it turns out, Baldwin hasn’t paid taxes in New York for 2008, 2009 and 2010, amounting to a hefty $350,000 (€270,103), the New York Daily News reports.
The state has had enough, the publication notes, so it had the actor arrested on charges of tax evasion, for which he could actually get 4 full years behind bars, assuming he’s found guilty.
However, Baldwin’s attorney says, the actor is determined to show that he has every intention of paying his taxes, having already covered $100,000 (€77,172) of his debt, as a sign of good faith, Forbes writes.
Authorities might be out to make an example out of him, especially considering he’s a high profile celebrity, and his getting away unpunished might send the wrong message to all those out there who think not paying their taxes might be a good idea.
“At a time when Rockland County and New York State face severe fiscal shortfalls, we cannot afford to allow wealthy residents to break the law by cheating on their taxes,” Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe says for the NY Daily News.
“The defendant’s repetitive failure to file returns and pay taxes over a period of several years contributes to the sweeping cutbacks and closures in local government and in our schools,” he adds.
Asked about Stephen’s recent financial problems, brother Alec said he was not worried in the least, E! Online writes: Stephen is not going to jail.
“I don't think he's going to jail. I know that he's in a negotiated settlement...Things that were online, which were... that's what media today does, they try to tilt it the way that they need it to be to sell copies and what have you, and sell online hits to their sites,” Alec says.