- (Photo: Reuters)
Stephen Baldwin is facing criminal charges for failing to pay New York state income taxes, but will not go to jail, his lawyer said Monday.
The 46-year-old actor is accused of not paying the taxes from 2008 to 2010, resulting in about $350,000 owed to the state of New York.
Attorney Russell Yankwitt spoke Monday after a closed-door conference with prosecutors and a judge in Rockland County, NY. The meeting excluded Baldwin.
Yankwitt said that Baldwin will plead guilty this month to a tax felony, but that the actor will avoid prison.
Furthermore, if Baldwin can pay back the money within one year, his record will be wiped clean, according to the Associated Press. However, is the actor is unable to do so, he will be sentenced to probation and given five years to pay it back.
"He relied upon others, he no longer does that," Yankwitt said of his client, referring to an accountant and a previous lawyer. "He never intended to defraud the government. The government understands that."
The attorney also explained factors in Baldwin paying the money back, noting that the actor is a born-again Christian.
"He's doing commercials, he's acting," said Yankwitt. "The economy is not what is was, and Mr. Baldwin is a faith-based actor, which makes it harder to get roles. In the past he did movies that portrayed violence and drugs. He no longer does those types of movies."
Baldwin is best known for his role in the 1995 film "The Usual Suspects," among others. He is the youngest of four Baldwin brothers and actors, including "30 Rock" star Alec Baldwin.
As for his family helping Baldwin through the legal ordeal, Yankwitt said, "Mr. Baldwin is thankful for the love and support of his family."