TAGS: H. Ty Warner, Beanie Babies, Beanie Babies inventor, tax evasion, TY Inc., Beanie crazy, skill crane, vending
CHICAGO -- H. Ty Warner, the billionaire inventor of Beanie Babies, has been sentenced to jail for tax evasion and ordered to pay a considerable fine. Warner, who headed Illinois-based TY Inc., created a 1990s craze with his line of adorable stuffed toys once popular with collectors and skill crane patrons.
The plea bargain reached with prosecutors called for the plush toymaker to serve a prison term of about four years and pay a $53 million civil penalty. Warner admitted to evading an estimated $5 million in federal taxes over an 11-year period through a series of secret overseas bank accounts. According to prosecutors, he concealed as much as $107 million. A recent Forbes magazine survey estimated Warner's net worth at $2.6 billion.
"I have so much to be thankful for. There is no excuse for my actions," Warner told the judge as he reportedly broke down in tears.
"There will be time for you to bare your soul (later)," Judge Charles Kocoras replied.