*Hours before he was to be sentenced Thursday for failing to file income taxes, Wesley Snipes cut the federal government three checks for $5 million and delivered them in court, according to reports.
The actor and the IRS still must determine how much he owes - plus interest and penalties – after he was found guilty on three counts of willfully failing to file tax returns. He was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison.
Snipes' $15 million payment took prosecutors by surprise. They initially declined to accept the cash, then had changed their mind by day's end.
Reading from a prepared apology, Snipes told the court that he made "costly mistakes" and was the victim of crooked advisers, a liability of wealth and celebrity that attracts "wolves and jackals like flies are attracted to meat."
"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance," Snipes said.
He remains free for the time being and will be notified when it's time to surrender to authorities. Defense attorney Carmen Hernandez signaled in court that Snipes would pursue an appeal.