Ty Warner, the Oak Brook billionaire who created Beanie Babies, is expected to plead guilty to tax evasion and pay a $53.5 million penalty for allegedly failing to report income he earned in a secret offshore account, according a statement from his lawyer.
“This is an unfortunate situation that Mr. Warner has been trying to resolve for several years now - including through an attempt to enroll in the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program in 2009,” said Mr. Warner’s attorney Gregory Scandaglia. “Mr. Warner accepts full responsibility for his actions with this plea agreement.”
Warner, 69, is the sole owner of TY Inc., a Westmont-based company that designs plush toy animals including Beanie Babies.
According to a statement from federal prosecutors, Warner earned more than $3.1 million in 2002 through investments held in a Swiss bank account, but didn’t report the income. The charge says Warner initially failed to pay $1.2 million in income tax on the unreported income, but amended his 2002 return to reduce that amount to $885,300.
Warner’s reported income was more than $49.1 million in 2002, according to the charge.
Forbes lists Warner as the 589th richest person in the world, worth $2.5 billion.