Yesterday it was unveiled that actor Stephen Baldwin owes $350,000 in unpaid income taxes and penalties from 2008-2010 and was arrested for the debt. Today his brother, fellow actor Alec Baldwin has spoken in his defence.
"I don't think he's going to go to jail, I know that he's in a negotiated settlement... This was all prearranged with the D.A. for him to go in and make an appearance." He said, CNN reported, adding scathing comments about the papparazzi who plague all the Baldwin brothers, "My attitude is that the business would be infinitely better if all of them were gone... If I could press a button tomorrow and flush them all down some swirling sewer vortex I would do it."
Likewise, the man who's paid to speak in Stephen's defence, his lawyer, said "Mr. Baldwin did not commit any crimes, and he's working with the district attorney's office and the New York State Tax Department to resolve any differences."
Regardless of whether or not Stephen's offence is a crime or not (which it is), surely his strongly evangelical faith should inform him of the moral crime he commits by not paying taxes- which are largely used to help the less fortunate. The Rockland County District Attourney Thomas Zugibe used this point in his argument, quoted by the LA Times: "We cannot afford to allow wealthy residents to break the law by cheating on their taxes," he said. "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."