Think that if you have offshore assets and you get caught, that you can just pay the Government? Think Again.
Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner was sentenced to two years probation as a result of his offshore bank accounts. Remember, he tried to come forward and take part in the government’s amnesty (the OVDP). Ultimately he followed the government’s own procedures and opted into OVDP. The Department of Justice then used the information he gave against him and criminally prosecuted him. Despite the government requesting prison time, the Judge sentenced him to probation and about $70 million dollars in restitution, penalties and fines.
Unsatisfied with this sentence, the U.S. Justice Department has now filed its notice that it intends to appeal this sentence, noting that the DOJ is concerned that such a light punishment has set a bad precedent and will influence the outcome of similar cases throughout the United States.
This appeal is an example of how seriously the US government is pursuing their Offshore Initiative. While Warner has been blessed in life economically and is a well known businessman and philanthropist, his good deeds, the tax penalties that he has paid already, and the fact that he has been forever branded a felon, is not enough for the US government. They want prison time.
If you stand accused of a tax offense by either the state or federal government, you NEED to consult with a tax lawyer as quickly as possible.