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Wesley Snipes to pay $76,000 to public relations firm


LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Wesley Snipes will have to pay $76,000 to a public relations firm he hired to help his image after he was charged of income tax evasion, an attorney for the company said today.

Attorney Richard Stoll, representing Sitrick and Co. Inc., said he expects Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kenneth Freeman to sign an order approving an arbitrator’s recommendation. He said Snipes’ lawyers did not file any opposition to the Sitrick motion.

The “Blade” trilogy actor was sentenced to three years in prison in April 2008 after being found guilty two months earlier of three misdemeanor charges of failing to file a federal tax return. The Supreme Court on June 6 turned down his appeal of his convictions.

Sitrick filed a petition April 13 asking that a Jan. 11 award handed down by an arbitrator be approved by a judge.

According to the petition, Sitrick was hired by Snipes in December of 2006 to provide advice and do his public relations at the minimum cost of $60,000 per year, plus any additional charges that might occur during the time they were employed by the actor.

In addition, the company’s court papers alleged Snipes was contractually obligated to pay the company within 20 days of any invoice they delivered for out-of-pocket costs and expenses.

The total listed in the petition was $68,066, but the final amount will include interest, attorneys’ fees and costs, according to Sitrick’s court papers.

The 48-year-old action star surrendered to begin serving his sentence on Dec. 9. He is housed at McKean Federal Correctional Institute near Lewis Run, Penn., and is scheduled for release two years from tomorrow.