Back in September 2013, we reported that your Beanie Babies in the attic may become more valuable because Beanie Baby creator, Ty Warner, was facing charges for evading his federal taxes. Last week Judge Charles Kocoras “sentenced” billionaire (with a “B”) Warner to two-years probation and 500 hours of community service for his tax crimes.
The sentence, or lack-there-of, is actually a bit surprising. The government often seeks harsh punishment in high profile cases knowing that punishing the infamous will have a chilling effect on less substantial, but still costly, tax crimes committed by regular citizens. Judge Kocoras rejected such punishment in this case based on Warner’s “good works” in society.
Warner pleaded guilty to tax evasion and paid a civil penalty of $53.6 million for failing to report$3.2 million in income on a secret Swiss bank account that held as much as $93.6 million in assets. Unfortunately for Warner, he attempted to avoid prosecution and take advantage of one of the government’s many offshore voluntary disclosure amnesty programs, but was denied tax relief. In addition to the civil penalty already paid by Warner, Judge Kocoras fined Warner an additional $100,000.
I was actually looking forward to the tax evasion Beanie Baby. However, now we’ll probably have a reincarnation of the fad, and all its versions, so Warner can pay his fines.