Report: Billionaire Robert F. Smith Will Settle Federal Tax Evasion Case For $140 Million


Billionaire Robert F. Smith, founder of Vista Equity Partners and the wealthiest Black man in America, will settle a four-year federal investigation into tax crimes for $140 million, according to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg.

2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple Of Hope Awards - Inside

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 12: Robert F. Smith speaks onstage during the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human … [+] Rights Ripple Of Hope Awards on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights )

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Key Facts

Smith reportedly won’t be prosecuted, but as part of the settlement, the billionaire must admit wrongdoing and assist in other federal tax investigations being conducted, according to Bloomberg.

The $140 million figure is reportedly derived from back taxes, penalties and interest, and could be taken public as soon as Thursday.

In August, it was reported that Smith was under investigation by the Justice Department for failing to pay U.S. taxes on around $200 million in assets that moved from Vista’s first private equity fund through offshore entities.

The $200 million was part of a $1 billion investment from Robert Brockman, CEO of software company Reynolds and Reynolds and someone who is connected to Smith through various offshore entities, trusts and foundations.

According to the August report, some of the funds were moved to a charity Smith oversaw called Fund II Foundation.

Big Number

$5.2 billion. That’s Smith’s estimated net worth, according to Forbes, making him the 125th richest person in the U.S. He founded Vista in 2000, which now has over $50 billion in assets.


Smith has been noted for his charitable work. In 2017, he became the first Black man to sign the Giving Pledge, committing half of his net worth to causes that support equal opportunities for Black Americans as well as environmental protections. In 2019, during a commencement speech at Morehouse College, Smith pledged to pay the student debt of the entire graduating class.


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