The Curse of the Beanie Babies continues, and it appears that no one is safe from these toys once hailed as the be-all end-all solution to your financial problems: Ty Warner, owner and founder TY, which makes the plush animals, is set to plead guilty to tax evasion after squirreling away millions of dollars in a secret Swiss bank account, says the Justice Department. At least he wasn’t stockpiling Beanie Babies with the hopes of reselling them.
Warner rode a wave of toy animals straight to the status of mega-millionaire after the toys caught the world in its promising net, causing everyday people to become rabid collectors. While some of the toys can sell for a few grand at auction, most dreams of making it rich from Beanie Babies were dashed.
It seems the financial reaper has come for Warner now as well, as he’s accused of hiding over $93 million in his Swiss bank account, reports CNNMoney, as well as failing to pay $885,300 in taxes from 2002.
He’s going along with a plea agreement that will require him to pay a civil penalty of $53.5 million for failing to report the account. His lawyer calls the case “an unfortunate situation that Mr. Warner has been trying to resolve for several years now .”
That fine is just a drop in the bucket of money Warner’s made off the toys, it seems — his net worth is estimated at about $2.6 billion. That’s a lot of Beanie Babies, most of which are probably now sitting dusty and forgotten in a box in your mother’s attic somewhere.