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State: Stephen Baldwin pays $100G in back taxes

From left, attorney Russell Yankwit and actor Stephen

From left, attorney Russell Yankwit and actor Stephen Baldwin speak to the media outside the Rockland County Courthouse in New City after appearing in court to answer charges for failing to file income tax. (March 29, 2013.) Credit: Angela Gaul

Actor Stephen Baldwin, Massapequa native and younger brother of Alec Baldwin, appeared in a Rockland County court Friday where he paid $100,000 toward a tax liability of almost $350,000, state tax department officials said.

Baldwin, 47, of Upper Grandview, pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge for repeatedly failing to file New York State Personal Income Tax Returns in 2008, 2009 and 2010, officials said.

In those years, Baldwin was a busy actor who was relying on his attorneys and advisers to take care of the taxes, said his attorney, Russell Yankwitt of Westchester.

Baldwin found out his returns had not been filed two years ago, when state tax officials told him he was under investigation, Yankwitt said.

Since then, the actor has taken a deeper interest and more control over his finances, the attorney said: "He has promised this will not happen again."

Officials said Baldwin also agreed to pay an additional $300,000 by the time of his sentencing in March 2014.

Baldwin owed the state $343,068 in back personal income taxes, penalties and interest, according to the New York State Tax Department.

Baldwin, who starred in the 1995 hit "The Usual Suspects," appeared Friday before Judge Charles P. Apotheker in Rockland County Court, where officials said he presented a certified check to the Tax Department. After an investigation by the department's Criminal Investigations Division and the office of Rockland District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe, Baldwin was arrested in December 2012 and charged with one count of repeated failure to file personal income tax returns -- a class E felony.

Baldwin is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 10.

His movie, "I'm in Love with A Church Girl," opens Friday in 500 theaters.

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