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Judge focused on good more than bad in Beanie Babies maker's case

Everybody makes mistakes in life; there is no doubt about it. Equally, if not more important, however, is the fact that most people do good things in their life as well. Many people strive to have their good actions far outweigh anything negative they may have done, and it is exactly that mentality that led to a very lenient sentence for the maker of Beanie Babies.

H. Ty Warner, who is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion, recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion. According to a recent report from the Associated Press, he hid millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts for years, filing false tax returns the whole time. Although penalties for tax evasion include up to five years in prison, Warner was sentenced to just two years of probation. Why? Because he had given back to society in a way that the judge felt outweighed his wrongdoings.

Warner has contributed a substantial amount to charitable causes in his life, including paying the medical bills of a woman who suffered from a serious kidney problem. Additionally, after designing a Beanie Baby in honor of Princess Diana, he used the proceeds to donate $20 million to charity.

As this criminal tax case clearly illustrates, judges often consider other aspects of a person's life during sentencing. Although this man is facing serious penalties, including tens of millions of dollars in fines, he was able to avoid jail time because the judge saw how much the good that he did contributed positively to his community and others.

Source: CBS Atlanta, "Beanie Babies maker avoids prison for tax evasion," Michael Tarm, Jan. 14, 2014

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