Wesley Snipes ordered to serve three year jail sentence

The actor Wesley Snipes has been ordered on Friday to start serving a three-year prison sentence for a felony tax conviction after a Florida judge rejected his bid for a new trial.

Revoking bail for the 48-year-old star of the "Blade" trilogy, the judge ordered him to report to prison as directed by the US Marshal’s Service or Bureau of Prisons.

"The Defendant Snipes had a fair trial … The time has come for the judgment to be enforced," US District Judge Terrell Hodges said in his ruling.

It was not clear when or where Snipes would begin serving his sentence.

Snipes’ lawyer, Daniel Meachum, said the ruling was "just shocking."

"Wesley is very disappointed but staying strong and positive," he told the Orlando Sentinel.

Snipes had already lost his appeal of the prison sentence stemming from his 2008 conviction in Hodges’ Ocala, Florida, court on three misdemeanour tax charges for failing to file income tax returns for 1999 through 2001.

In seeking a new trial, Mr Meachum had argued that jurors in the original trial were biased and that the prosecution’s star witness had his own criminal problems.

At his sentencing in 2008, prosecutors said Snipes, a resident of Windermere, Florida, had earned more than $38 million since 1999 but had filed no tax returns or paid any taxes.