Tax News: Beanie Babies Creator Pays High Penalties But No Jail Time for Secret Swiss Accounts

The billionaire creator of Beanie Babies, Ty Warren, received his sentence for failing to report and pay income tax on Swiss bank accounts.  At the sentencing hearing the judge stated that rather than jail time society would be best served to allow Warner to continue his good works.  These “good works” will now include 500 hours of community service and a $100,000 fine, and Warren also will have two years of probation.  The community service and fine is in addition to the $53 million civil penalty and $27 million in back taxes Warren has already paid to the IRS.  The civil enforcement and prosecution of Warren is part of the IRS’s ongoing efforts to crack down on unreported, foreign bank accounts.

The takeaway for taxpayers is that the IRS is very serious about this issue and continues to use resources towards finding and prosecuting taxpayers with unreported, foreign bank accounts.  However, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program remains a possible option for taxpayers who have failed to report foreign bank accounts with a cumulative value over $10,000 on the FBAR form.  As a part of the OVDP, qualifying taxpayers pay a civil penalty and file all forms to be in complete compliance in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution.  If you have unreported, foreign bank accounts contact us at Hone Maxwell LLP today for a comprehensive analysis of your options including the risks and potential costs.  For more tax updates and the latest news you can follow us on twitter @HMLLPTax or facebook at

Disclaimer: Hone Maxwell LLP articles and blogs are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts, facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information herein.

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