*Wesley Snipes was given the maximum three-year prison sentence in his tax case late Thursday, which is exactly what federal prosecutors had sought for the "Blade" star, according to reports.
Despite three-dozen character references from such famous friends as Denzel Washington and Woody Harrelson, U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges opted to make an example out of the actor and give him the maximum punishment – which represents the three years he willfully failed to file a tax return.
Snipes' lawyers argued he should get only probation, because all three convictions were misdemeanors and the actor had no previous criminal record. They hoped he would be let off with no prison time and no fine.
The film star was also acquitted of three identical misdemeanors and two felony charges of tax fraud and conspiracy.