Daily Variety reporter Patrick Frater has acknowledged that he failed to fully check out a story in which he claimed that Wesley Snipes had reached a deal with U.S. authorities to pay $13 million allegedly owed in back taxes on an installment plan. Frater told today's New York Times that although he spoke to three associates of Snipes, he did not speak to prosecutors. The trade publication was embarrassed today (Tuesday) when a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Paul Perez said that no deal had been made to drop tax fraud and conspiracy charges against Snipes, who currently is filming a movie in Namibia. Frater told the Times that any blame for inaccuracy for the article -- which was cited in numerous accounts all over the world -- should rest on Variety editors "who put it through." The Times said that it had been unable to reach Variety editors for comment. It is highly unusual for one news outlet to point up so directly apparent deficiencies in the editorial oversight of another.