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Feds To Appeal Lenient Sentence For Beanie Babies Founder

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Ty Warner, creator of Beanie Babies toys. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Ty Warner, creator of Beanie Babies toys. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – Federal prosecutors are appealing the lenient sentence handed to billionaire tax cheat Ty Warner last month by a Chicago judge.

The Beanie Baby creator hid $100 million in secret Swiss bank accounts to con the IRS, but got just two years of probation and 500 hours of community service for the crime when he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras on Jan. 13.

Prosecutors wanted Warner, 69, of Oak Brook, locked up for at least a year, but Kocoras said Warner’s long history of charitable acts meant he should be spared.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago Thursday requested permission from Department of Justice officials in the nation’s capital for permission to proceed with the appeal. Such appeals by prosecutors are unusual.

Though they have yet to receive that OK from D.C., the approval itself is typically considered a formality.

At Warner’s sentencing hearing last month, prosecutors drew the judge’s attention to other cases in which defendants who cheated the IRS out of far less in similar scams were sentenced to prison, including Skokie businessman Peter Troost, who got one year. Troost was prosecuted in Chicago federal court.

But Warner’s attorneys argued that by paying a $53 million fine and $27 million in back taxes, as well as being publicly humiliated, Warner had suffered enough.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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