Beanie Babies billionaire could get prison time

MICHAEL TARM
Associated Press
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H. Ty Warner, the billionaire who created Beanie Babies, arrives at federal court for sentencing on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Chicago. Last year Warner pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion for hiding $25 million in income in secret Swiss bank accounts. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge in Chicago has sentenced the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies to two years of probation but no prison for tax evasion.

H. Ty Warner appeared somber but composed as he made a brief statement before he was sentenced Tuesday in which he apologized and said he felt "shame and embarrassment" for what he had done.

He could have been sentenced to up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a single tax evasion count for not paying taxes on $25 million in income stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras also ordered Warner to serve 500 hours of community service.

Warner is among the highest-profile targets in the federal government's push to prosecute Americans concealing income from the IRS overseas.