Texas software tycoon who ‘hid $2B in secret offshore accounts’ is charged with biggest tax evasion case in US history – after fellow billionaire Robert Smith turns against him in $139M settlement
- Robert Brockman, 79, was charged with tax evasion in San Francisco Thursday
- The billionaire software tycoon is accused of hiding $2B in income over 20 years
- Federal prosecutors said Brockman used a web of off-shore companies in the Caribbean to launder money
- He was indicted after fellow billionaire Robert Smith turned against him to avoid prosecution
- Smith agreed to pay $139million in taxes and penalties to settle the tax probe
A Texas software mogul accused of hiding billions of dollars in offshore accounts has been charged with the largest tax fraud scheme in US history, prosecutors said.
Robert Brockman, 79, was charged with money laundering and evidence tampering on Thursday after allegedly hiding $2billion in income over a 20-year period.
The 39-count indictment states the CEO of Ohio-based Reynolds and Reynolds Co, used a web of off-shore companies in Bermuda and St. Kitts and Nevis to hide and launder money.
Texas billionaire and CEO of Ohio-based Reynolds and Reynolds Co., Robert Brockman (pictured) was charged with money laundering and evidence tampering on Thursday after allegedly hiding $2billion in income over a 20-year period
He was indicted after fellow billionaire Robert Smith turned against him to avoid prosecution. Smith accepted responsibility for his own crimes in the tax evasion scheme by agreeing to pay $139million in taxes and penalties
Prosecutors said Brockman appointed nominees to manage the entities for him as a means of hiding his involvement, saying he even went so far as to establish a proprietary encrypted email system and used code words to communicate.
‘The allegation of a $2billion tax fraud is the largest ever tax charge against an individual in the United States,’ US Attorney David Anderson said in a press conference in San Francisco.
Brockman is also charged in a securities fraud scheme, after he bought and sold debt securities in his own company, ‘breaking a promise to investors that he would not buy or sell his own company’s debt.’
He faces seven counts of tax evasion, six counts of failing to file reports disclosing foreign bank accounts, and numerous other counts including wire fraud, money laundering and evidence tampering.
Smith caused a media sensation when he used his commencement speech to tell 400 students in the Atlanta-based university Morehouse College class of 2019 he would pay off $34million of their student debt
It comes after fellow billionaire Robert Smith, who famously said he would pay off 2019 college graduates’ debt at last year’s Morehouse College commencement, turned against Brockman to avoid prosecution himself.
Smith, founder and chairman of investment firm Vista Equity Partners, accepted responsibility for his own crimes in the tax evasion scheme and will pay $139million to settle the tax probe, prosecutors said.
As part of his non-prosecution agreement, Smith admitted to using a nominee trustee and corporate manager to hide his control in four off-shore companies.
Some of his untaxed income was used to buy a vacation home in Sonoma, California, and ski properties in the Alps, and to fund charitable causes.
‘Although Smith willfully and knowingly violated the law, Smith has accepted responsibility and agreed to provide complete and truthful cooperation,’ Anderson said.
Smith founded private equity firm Vista Equity Partners and he is listed by Forbes as being the nation’s wealthiest black investor.
Brockman is scheduled to make an appearance in San Francisco.
Federal prosecutors called Brockman’s scheme the biggest tax evasion case in US history