SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Montecito billionaire toymaker Ty Warner is one of the highest profile figures to be snared in a federal investigation of Americans hiding income in Swiss bank accounts.
Reaction to his sentencing is mixed.
The beanie baby creator, who owns half the luxury resorts in Santa Barbara, was sentenced to two years probation, and 500 hours of community service.
Warner, 69, was ordered to pay $53 million in fines and millions more in back taxes. But he did not receive any prison time. Some people who work by his namesake Ty Warner Sea Center on Stearns Wharf consider that a slap on the wrist. Other people said they think his reputation for philanthropy saved him.