Beanie Babies founder Ty Warner pleads guilty to tax evasion
The billionaire creator of the wildly popular '90s collectibles was charged on Wednesday (Sept. 18) with tax evasion and agreed to plead guilty and pay a penalty of nearly $53.6 million, prosecutors and his attorney tell Reuters.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago, Warner (who ranks at the 209th richest American by Forbes) "went to great lengths" to hide from both his accountants and the IRS more than $3.1 million in foreign income generated through a secret Swiss bank account.
Warner will pay a civil penalty of $53,552,248 for failure to file a Foreign Bank Account Report, his attorney Gregory Scandaglia said in a statement. "Mr. Warner accepts full responsibility for his actions with this plea agreement," Scandaglia says.
The federal charge alleges that in 2002, Warner earned over $3.1 million through investments held in his Union Bank of Switzerland account, but failed to notify anyone or report it on his 2002 tax form. He also failed to pay $885,300 in taxes owed that year.
Warner's net worth was listed by Forbes this week at $2.5 billion.