Stephen Baldwin, the Hollywood actor still best known for The Usual Suspects, has pleaded not guilty to failure to file personal income tax returns. Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said Mr Baldwin, 46, owes more than $350,000 in tax and penalties, according to BBC News.
Prosecutors say the actor may face up to four years in prison if convicted. "We cannot afford to allow wealthy residents to break the law by cheating on their taxes. 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," said Zugibe. Mr Baldwin is accused of failing to pay state personal income taxes from 2008 to 2010, though the actor argues that he had poor financial representation at the time in question. His lawyer, Russell Yankwit, insisted the actor "did not commit any crimes", adding that he was "working with the district attorney's office and the New York State Tax Department to resolve any differences." Stephen is the youngest brother of the Baldwin acting dynasty, which includes William, Daniel and Alec, the most successful. He filed for bankruptcy in 2009 with legal papers suggesting he owed $1.2 million on two mortgages, $1 million in taxes and $70,000 on credit cards.
Baldwin is probably sweating a little, given fellow Hollywood star Wesley Snipes was imprisoned for tax evasion in 2010. The Blade Runner star is due for release from a Pennsylvanian prison in July 2013.