News / Economy

Beanie Babies Creator Agrees to Big US Tax Penalty

Ty Warner, left, Beanie Baby creator and chief executive of Ty Inc., gives "Decade," the 10th anniversary baby bear, to Debbie, far right, of Bel Air, Maryland, after signing his name to the attached tag in New York. (2003 file photo) Ty Warner, left, Beanie Baby creator and chief executive of Ty Inc., gives "Decade," the 10th anniversary baby bear, to Debbie, far right, of Bel Air, Maryland, after signing his name to the attached tag in New York. (2003 file photo)
x
Ty Warner, left, Beanie Baby creator and chief executive of Ty Inc., gives "Decade," the 10th anniversary baby bear, to Debbie, far right, of Bel Air, Maryland, after signing his name to the attached tag in New York. (2003 file photo)
Ty Warner, left, Beanie Baby creator and chief executive of Ty Inc., gives "Decade," the 10th anniversary baby bear, to Debbie, far right, of Bel Air, Maryland, after signing his name to the attached tag in New York. (2003 file photo)
VOA News
The U.S. creator of the once-popular Beanie Babies stuffed animals has agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion and pay more than $53 million for hiding assets in secret Swiss bank accounts.

Ty Warner, a 69-year-old billionaire from Chicago, faces up to five years in prison, in addition to the financial penalty.

In one of the largest cases involving hidden offshore assets, U.S. prosecutors allege that as sales of the small, cuddly toys soared in the mid-1990s, Warner sent profits to a secret account at the Swiss banking giant UBS. By 2002, authorities said he had $94 million at UBS and later moved it to another Swiss bank to conceal his holdings.

The Justice Department said Warner should have paid taxes of nearly $900,000 on about $3 million in interest income earned in the secret account.

U.S. authorities are in the midst of a crackdown on taxpayers hiding money in offshore accounts. In the last several years, more than 80 taxpayers have faced criminal charges. In addition, more than 38,000 have voluntarily disclosed their offshore accounts and paid penalties, but avoided prosecution.

American parents and their young children often waited for hours in long lines to buy the latest Beanie Babies produced by Warner's company. Some buyers then resold the dolls for substantially more than the usual retail price of less than $10, but the popularity of the toys has since waned.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.