Stephen Baldwin has been arrested and charged for allegedly failing to pay some $350,000 in back taxes to New York state over a three-year period and could face up to four years in prison if convicted.
The 46-year-old actor pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Thursday, December 6, and was released without bail. His attorney told the Associated Press that Baldwin "did not commit any crimes, and he's working with the district attorney's office and the New York State Tax Department to resolve any differences."
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe said in a statement obtained by OTRC.com that Baldwin failed to file New York State Personal Income Tax Returns for three years, starting in 2008, and that his alleged tax liability to the state totals more than $350,000 and includes penalties and interest.
The charge of Repeated Failure to File Personal Income Tax Returns is a felony and carried a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
"At a time when Rockland County and New York State face severe fiscal shortfalls, we cannot afford to allow wealthy residents to break the law by cheating on their taxes," Zugibe said. "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. My office will continue to investigate and prosecute those who cheat our tax system for their personal gain."
Baldwin, the youngest of Hollywood's Baldwin brothers -- Alec, William and Daniel, is known for roles in films such as "Born on the Fourth of July," "The Usual Suspects" and "The Young Riders" and is set to appear in Donald Trump's NBC reality show "All Star Celebrity Apprentice" in 2013 (see who else is in the cast).
Earlier this year, Baldwin lost a civil case against Kevin Costner. Baldwin had sought $17 million in damages, claiming that the actor cheated him and a business partner out of their share of a multi-million dollar deal involving BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Other celebrities have run into legal problems involved their tax returns. In June, singer Lauryn Hill pleaded guilty to failing to pay some $1.8 million in federal taxes. She could be sent to jail for up to three years if convicted.
In April, Pamela Anderson and Lionel Richie were named on a list of several of California's biggest income-tax delinquents. Also in April, it was revealed that Nicolas Cage paid $6.25 million in back taxes, but at the time, he reportedly still owed the IRS some $7 million. The celebrities have not commented about their cases.