Ty Warner headshot, Beanie Babies creator and chief executive officer - Photo courtesy of AP Graphics
CHICAGO -- The billionaire who created Beanie Babies has pleaded guilty to a tax evasion charge that could send him to prison for years.
H. Ty Warner broke down crying in court and apologized as he entered his plea on Wednesday. Then, he removed his designer tortoise-shell glasses and sought to regain his composure before a federal judge in Chicago.
He said he knew he had much to be thankful for, mentioning his successful stuffed-toys company,
He added, "There's no excuse for my actions."
Judge Charles Kocoras stopped Warner and told him "there will be time for you to bare your soul" at his Jan. 15 sentencing.
The 69-year-old admitted he failed to pay around $5 million in taxes due over 11 years. Tax evasion carries a maximum five-year prison term.