Beanie Babies Owner to Pay $53M Over Secret Account

Ty Warner will plead guilty to felony tax evasion charges
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2013 7:03 AM CDT
Beanie Babies Owner to Pay $53M Over Secret Account
In this Feb 16, 2003 file photo, Ty Warner, Beanie Baby creator, arrives at the Toy Fair to sign "Decade," the10th anniversary baby bear in New York.   (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

(Newser) – Creating Beanie Babies helped Ty Warner become the 209th richest man in America as of this year, with a net worth of $2.6 billion, according to Forbes. But a penalty will chip away at that sum: Warner has agreed to pay $53.5 million and plead guilty to tax-evasion charges, the Chicago Tribune reports. The case relates to a UBS account he quietly opened in Switzerland in 1996. Prosecutors allege "that Warner went to great lengths to hide from his accountants and the IRS more than $3.1 million in foreign income generated in a secret Swiss account" in 2002, says a US attorney.

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Among those "great lengths": Warner reportedly told the bank not to mail him any correspondence about the account. Per the charges, Warner should have paid $885,300 in income taxes in 2002, but he didn't report the UBS income. The Tribune explains that the penalty for failing to declare such income is equal to 50% of what was in the account at the time; the $53.5 million figure relates to that. Warner is due to be arraigned and enter his plea on Oct. 2. Warner could see as many as five years in jail, Bloomberg notes, though many people sentenced in recent offshore tax evasion cases got probation. (Read more beanie babies stories.)

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