The Chicago Tribune reports that Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner, who pleaded guilty last year to one of the largest tax frauds in Chicago-area history, has asked the federal court to sentence him to probation. His sentencing is scheduled for January 14, 2014. In 1996, Warner opened a Swiss bank account at UBS, which held as much as $107 million. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines recommend a jail term of 46 to 57 months. In a memorandum filed with the federal court in Chicago on Thursday, January 2nd, Warner noted that he has already paid a $53 million FBAR penalty and at least $16 million in taxes and interest. Warner asserted that he tried to enter the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) in 2009 but was rejected and that subsequent requests to make good on his taxes were denied.
UPDATE: On January 14, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois sentenced Warner to two years’ probation.
U.S. taxpayers with foreign bank accounts should begin the process of coming into compliance with their reporting obligations, if they have not already done so. The IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) is still available. For more information on the government’s offshore enforcement efforts, FBAR penalties, and the OVDP, please contact Jim Mastracchio at (202) 861-1650 (Jmastracchio@bakerlaw.com) or Jay Nanavati, (202) 861-1747 (email@example.com), Baker Hostetler LLP, 1050 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC 20036 (www.bakerlaw.com).