Plush Sentence: Beanie Babies Founder Avoids Jail Time

Former Staff Writer
2 min read

The mastermind behind Beanie Babies -- a collectible toy line that spawned a billion dollar empire in the 90's -- will not serve time for having stuffed funds into an undeclared Swiss bank account that reportedly netted him $25 million.

Ty Warner, 69, was sentenced this morning by a federal judge in Chicago to two years probation and 500 hours community service. While prosecutors were seeking at least one year behind bars, the judge cited Warner's extensive charity work in reasoning that "society will be best served to allow him to continue his good works," the Wall Street Journal reports.

After having pleaded guilty last fall, Warner coughed up record sums as part of the deal -- $53.6 million in penalties and $27 million in back taxes -- which amounts to the largest fine ever paid for such a crime. And Warner's marks one of the highest profile cases in an ongoing government crackdown regarding undeclared offshore accounts, said the Journal.

While Warner expressed "shame and embarrassment" for his actions before the sentencing, the judge "devoted most of the twenty minutes he spent explaining his sentence praising Warner's charitable work," according to Fox News. For instance, after getting lost driving in California once, Warner "pulled over to a parking lot fundraiser and told a woman with a kidney ailment that he would pay her $20,000 medical bill."

Related: Set Boundaries for Accountability and Other Must-Read Business Tips

More from Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur Select: A Fund For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs require more than just money, which is why we aim to empower you, as well as act as a catalyst for value creation.

Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21 to save on our collection of recommended career books, including:
  • Career Rehab
  • Entrepreneur Voices on Careers
  • The New Employee Manual
  • And more

Latest on Entrepreneur