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Actor Stephen Baldwin charged with failure to file taxes

Actor Stephen Baldwin (C), arrives with his attorneys Timothy Madden (L) and Leo Palazzo at the New Orleans Federal Court House in New Orlea
Actor Stephen Baldwin (C), arrives with his attorneys Timothy Madden (L) and Leo Palazzo at the New Orleans Federal Court House in New Orlea

(Reuters) - Actor Stephen Baldwin, the younger brother of "30 Rock" star Alec Baldwin, was charged with felony tax evasion in New York state on Thursday, the Rockland County District Attorney's office said.

Baldwin, 46, entered a not guilty plea to the single count of repeated failure to file personal income tax returns. The actor faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

"The Usual Suspects" actor told Reuters that he is working with the state to find a resolution to his alleged $350,000 in overdue taxes and penalties.

"I didn't commit a crime," Baldwin said in a telephone interview, adding that he handed over a $100,000 check to the state at his arraignment

Prosecutors in Rockland County, about 15 miles northwest of New York, accuse Baldwin of failing to pay state personal income taxes from 2008 to 2010.

Baldwin said that he had poor representation during the years in question. He filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009.

"My ability to make the payment I did today, as a sign to the state and district attorney, that I'm working to get this resolved," Baldwin said.

The actor was later released on his own recognizance and is due in court for a hearing on February 5.

"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," District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe said in a statement.

Baldwin, who has mostly appeared in small movie roles in the last decade, is the youngest of the four brothers in the acting family.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey, editing by Jill Serjeant and M.D. Golan)

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