Beanie Baby creator Ty Warner faces a prison sentence for tax evasion. But it is a relatively light punishment.
You would think that the law is an ass. And that one should let bygones be bygones. After all, so what if a person engages in a little fun and hanky-panky once in a while.
Yet the fact remains that some crimes may seem respectable simply because they are white collar while the rest are punished because they are blue collar.
Take the case of Ty Warner, the creator of Beanie Babies. He got off with a relatively light sentence for a big crime. The US Attorney’s office now wants to extend his imprisonment.
When a verdict of two years probation and 500 hours of community service were announced for tax evasion and similar fraud, it seemed to be nothing in comparison to the enormity of the crime.
The fact that this man hid $100 million in his Swiss bank accounts and thus shunned the payment of $5.5 million is a solid reality that cannot be denied. And while Ty Warner’s toys that he created do make both children and adults happy, that is no reason he should be let off the hook so easily.
And the judge’s original statement that Ty’s philanthropic and humanitarian efforts offset his tax evasion schemes is just plain bosh and tosh. It makes no sense. A crime is a crime is a crime. The toy donations made by Ty don’t make the money embezzled any less of a misdemeanor.
“Wealthy people commonly make gifts to charity,” the court wrote in sending the case back to the judge to try again. “They are to be commended for doing so but should not be allowed to treat charity as a get-out-of-jail card.”
His lawyers have challenged the new filing of complaints against him. But they have four weeks in which to give a rejoinder. Were he to be sentenced he could face up to four to six years behind bars.
Beanie Baby creator Ty's spokesman issued this statement: “Unfortunately, the government is spending resources to challenge a well-reasoned and careful sentence issued by a well-respected judge.”
The repeal of the previous lighter sentence will be a long uphill process. Yet it is a necessary step in the equality of all citizens before the long arm of the law.