Beanie Baby Billionaire H. Ty Warner Guilty of Tax Evasion
CHICAGO - The man who created Beanie Babies has pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
Billionaire H. Ty Warner broke down crying in federal court Wednesday, apologizing as he entered his plea.
"There's no excuse for my actions," he told Judge Charles Kocoras, who stopped Warner from saying anything further.
"There will be time for you to bare your soul, " Kocoras told Warner, and set his sentencing for January 15.
Warner, 69, admitted that he didn't pay around $5 million in taxes due over 11 years. Tax evasion carries a maximum five-year prison term.
Warner formed his toy company in 1986. He put out his first Beanie Baby in 1993. Warner is believed to have profited more than 700 million dollars from the Beanie Baby craze.
Warner also gave away millions of his fortune to charity, including the Andre Agassi Foundation for underprivileged children. He also donated one million Beanie Babies to children in Iraq and Afghanistan, and donated more than $300 million worth in soft toys to the Red Cross.
In addition to his toy company, Warner invested in hotels and golf courses.
Warner was born in Chicago in 1944. His parents named him after major league baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Ty Cobb.