Chicago • The billionaire businessman behind Beanie Babies was sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation, but no prison time, for not paying taxes on millions of dollars stashed in Swiss bank accounts, with the judge praising the toy magnate for his charity work.
H. Ty Warner, 69, issued a somber but composed apology before being sentenced in Chicago federal court, saying he felt "shame and embarrassment." He pleaded guilty last year to a single count of tax evasion for not paying taxes on $25 million in income he had hidden.
Warren could have been sentenced to up to five years in prison, and a prosecutor asked U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras on Tuesday to impose at least a year behind bars. But Kocoras opted against prison time and spent most of the 20 minutes he spent explaining his sentence praising the businessman's charitable work. He cited a $20,000 medical bill Warner paid for a stranger with a kidney ailment and Warner's $20 million charitable donation of proceeds from a toy he helped design commemorating Princess Diana after her death.