- The billionaire investor Robert Smith is the subject of a federal investigation into potential tax crimes, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.
- Federal authorities have spent four years investigating whether he failed to pay taxes on $200 million in assets that were moved through offshore entities, Bloomberg added, citing its sources.
- Smith has not been charged with a crime, according to Bloomberg, which said he might be found not to owe taxes on the assets even without any kind of deal with prosecutors.
- The founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners hit headlines last year when he pledged to pay off the student debt of the entire 2019 graduating class at Morehouse College.
- Vista and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment on the Bloomberg report.
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Robert Smith, the billionaire who made headlines last year after saying he would wipe off the student debt of the entire Morehouse College 2019 graduating class, is facing an investigation into potential tax crimes, according to a report from Bloomberg on Friday.
Bloomberg cited four unnamed sources, some of whom said the Justice Department and IRS agents had been investigating him for the past four years.
Federal authorities are said to be examining whether Smith – a billionaire tech investor and philanthropist who is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners – owes taxes on $200 million in assets that were moved through offshore entities.
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A key factor in the investigation, Bloomberg reported, is whether Smith was the beneficial owner of Caribbean entities that received proceeds from Vista’s private-equity fund.
Some of those proceeds flowed through offshore entities into an American charitable foundation presided over by Smith, who is its founding director, the report said.
Neither Vista nor the Justice Department immediately responded to Business Insider’s requests for comment on the Bloomberg report.
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Smith has not been charged with a crime, according to Bloomberg, which said that the investigation might find him not to owe taxes on the assets but also that one source said Smith was seeking leniency in exchange for cooperation with multiple investigations.
Bloomberg said one of those investigations was focused on a Smith associate, Robert Brockman.
Brockman, a businessman from Houston, has a host of connections with Smith involving offshore entities, trusts, and foundations, Bloomberg said.