Stephen Baldwin Pleads ‘Guilty’ to Tax Charge


COURTESY: ‘The Smoking Gun’– Actor Stephen Baldwin was arrested in New York in December 2012 and charged with failing to file personal income tax returns. Baldwin, 46, pleaded not guilty and is due in court in February.

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By Michael Martinez

(CNN) — Actor Stephen Baldwin pleaded guilty to repeated failure to file income taxes for three years and will pay $300,000 in back taxes, his attorney Russell Yankwitt said Friday.

Baldwin initially needed to pay $400,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties, but the court waived interest and penalties, which brought the total to $350,000, Yankwitt. The court then reduced that amount to $300,000, for which Baldwin was very grateful, Yankwitt said.

If Baldwin pays back the money within a year, the charge will be taken off his record, the attorney said. If not, Baldwin will be sentenced to five years’ probation and have five years to repay the money, Yankwitt said.

“Mr. Baldwin is a man of faith, and it’s difficult for him to get jobs in Hollywood that are compatible with his faith, and that’s one of the difficulties he’s had paying off the money,” Yankwitt said.

Though Baldwin is on “The Apprentice,” the money from that appearance is permanently going to a charity, Yankwitt said.

“Mr. Baldwin is very appreciative of the D.A. Office’s willingness to work with him, and he looks forward to repaying the debt and being a productive member of society,” Yankwitt added.

The charge was a result of an investigation conducted by the Rockland County, New York, Special Investigations Unit and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, authorities said.

Baldwin was arrested in December on charge of failing to file taxes in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and released on his own recognizance.

Baldwin had trusted paid professionals to handle his affairs, especially during the time he was on an island shooting the reality TV show “Survivor,” Yankwitt said previously.

Baldwin produced a check for $100,000 in December as a “good faith” down payment on the money he owed, Yankwitt said.

CNN’s Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.

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