A judge postponed Wesley Snipes’ tax evasion trial until early next year after the actor fired his legal team.
U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges on Wednesday called it a “ploy” for Snipes to delay trial, but said the motion was in the public interest.
The case was headed to court this month after earlier delays pushed it off the calendar in March. Prosecutors objected, saying they were prepared.
Snipes expressed a “complete lack of trust and confidence” in attorney William R. Martin, who also represented former National Football League quarterback Michael Vick. Snipes said Martin ignored his case while working for Vick, hadn’t reviewed boxes of documents and even lost information.
Snipes’ new lawyer, Robert G. Bernhoft, previously represented him in a paternity case.
An October 2006 federal indictment charges Snipes with fraudulently claiming refunds totaling nearly $12 million in 1996 and 1997 for income taxes already paid. The 45-year-old star of the “Blade” trilogy and other films also was charged with failure to file returns from 1999 through 2004.