R&B singer Ronald Isleyâs 37 month federal prison sentence for tax evasion has been upheld by an appellate court. Isley, 66, who argued that his sentence was unreasonable due to his age, poor health and lack of proof that the federal prison system can provide him adequate health care, was not enough to prove a three-judge panel wrong. The appellate court ruled that the trial judge was correct in sentencing and “best balanced the need to sanction Mr. Isley’s ‘pathological’ tax evasion against the need to accommodate Mr. Isley’s poor health.” Isley was sentenced in 2006 after being convicted of five counts of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to file a tax return. Prosecutors said Isley avoided paying taxes numerous times over a three-year period and declared bankruptcy after the IRS seized his yacht, cars and other property in 1997. He was discharged from bankruptcy four years later, but then did not file tax returns for the years 1997 to 2001 and in 2002 did not sign his return and failed to pay all taxes due. In July of last year, Def Jam and Isley fans launched a letter-writing campaign to President George W. Bush in the hopes that he will step in and use his executive power to spare Isley a three-year federal prison sentence, just as Bush did for former Dick Cheney aide I. Lewis âScooterâ Libby. Isley is currently incarcerated at the Terre Haute Federal Corrections Institution in Indiana and his projected release date is in April 2010.
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