On July 17, 2008, the adult film star known as “Janine” (Janine Lindemulder) was charged with a misdemeanor count for willfully failing to pay tax (a violation of Internal Revenue Code section 7203). In August she pleaded guilty to the charge. Yesterday, the District Court of Oregon sentenced Ms. Lindemulder to six months in prison followed by one year of supervised release which could include up to six months in a halfway house.
Because the section 7203 willful failure to pay tax is a misdemeanor, we knew the prison sentence would be less than one year (a crime becomes a felony when the potential sentence carries potential prison time of more than one year). However, she likely received a reduction in her sentence under the United States Sentencing Guidelines for “acceptance of responsibility.” This means that if she had forced the case to trial and been convicted, she likely would have received a longer sentence. Keep in mind that while her sentence is only six months and she is likely to serve her time in a minimum security prison camp, it is still six months in prison.
In light of the more serious charges dealt with by Janine's celebrity counterparts: Richard Hatch (of CBS’ “Survivor fame) and Wesley Snipes (“Blade” movies) and the Joe Francis (creator of the “Girls Gone Wild” video series) prosecution, Janine Lindemulder’s sentence is not much of a surprise. What these prosecutions show is that the IRS and Department of Justice are not deterred by celebrity in enforcing the tax laws.
Related news articles: here, here and here.