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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8143
JPY
USD
119.23
GBP
USD
0.6390
CAD
USD
1.1596
INR
USD
63.304

Rates may not be current.