Beanie Babies Founder to pay $53 million in Tax Penalties

September 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

ty_warner_beanie_collector_1If you grew up in the 90s, you might feel like there really is nothing pure left in this world.

Ty Warner, the creator of the popular pellet-stuffed animals like Legs the Frog, Spot the Dog, and Chocolate the Moose, agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion charges.

Warner will pay a civil penalty of $53.6 million after federal prosecutors alleged he failed to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) in 2002.

“Warner, 69, ranked as the 209th richest American by Forbes, ‘went to great lengths’ to hide from his accountants and the Internal Revenue Service more than $3.1 million in foreign income generated in a secret Swiss bank account, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago,” (Reuters).

The news puts a stain on the “tush-tags” of the millions of beanie babies still floating around the world.  The plush toys became popular collective items, with some of the rarer animals, such as the Princess Diana bear, re-selling for thousands of dollars.

Prosecutors said Warner is the second person charged in the Chicago federal court as a result of an ongoing IRS Investigation into taxpayer clients of Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) and other overseas banks that sheltered foreign accounts from the IRS. “As part of a 2009 agreement with the United States, UBS provided the government with the identities of certain customers,” prosecutors said.

Forbes lists Warner’s net worth as $2.9 billion.

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