Companies & Industries

The feud: Ty Warner vs the U.S. Department of Justice

Missing beans

The conflict: Beanie Babies made Ty Warner a billionaire. The plush toys became an obsession in the 1990s for both children and sad, misguided adults. Warner was not keen to share the wealth with the government, however. The DOJ recently charged him with tax evasion for stashing more than $3 million in an offshore account, accusing him of going to “great lengths” to hide it.


The outcome: Warner has agreed to plead guilty and will pay $53.6 million in civil penalties. His lawyer characterized the case as an “unfortunate situation” and said Warner “accepts full responsibility for his actions.” The market for Beanie Babies, meanwhile, is still ticking. A current eBay auction for a “Rare Museum Quality…1st Edition Princess Diana Beanie Baby” is tagged at $350,000.