Billionaire Robert Brockman, who has been called the biggest tax evasion case ever against an individual in the United States in 2020, has died. He was 81 years old.
Brockman’s death was confirmed Saturday by his lead attorney, Kathy Keneally. Additional details and cause of death were not immediately available.
His lawyers were arguing in court that he had dementia and was unable to prosecute him. But in May a judge upheld him and fixed the hearing for February 2023.
Brockman, a Florida native and Houston resident whose fortune has been estimated at $4.7 billion by Forbes, was the former CEO of Reynolds & Reynolds, an Ohio-based software company that provides solutions to businesses.
In October 2020, the government charged him with tax evasion on a $2 billion profit, wire fraud, money laundering and other offenses in a 39-count indictment. He pleaded not guilty.
The Justice Department said in the announcement of the indictment that the alleged scheme to hide billions in income from the IRS has been going on for decades.
U.S. State of the Northern District of California Attorney David L. Anderson said at the time that the U.S. In “The $2 billion tax fraud allegation is the biggest tax charge ever made against an individual”
Keneally, her lead attorney and longtime tax expert, was assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s tax department from 2012 to 2014.
According to court records, Brockman’s former business associate and U.S. Robert Smith, the richest black citizen in the U.S., had to become a key witness against him. Smith avoided charges by agreeing to evade taxes, pay $139 million in taxes and fines, and cooperate, records show.
The criminal case against Brockman was an allegation that he evaded taxes through an offshore charitable trust that prosecutors said was secretly controlled by him – and which he said was independent.
Prosecutors said he used unfair advantage to buy a Colorado fishing lodge, a private jet and a 200-foot yacht, among other things. The Aspen Times then reported that the government filed paperwork to seize a 100-acre fishing retreat in the Rockies in 2021.
It was not immediately clear how Brockman’s death would affect the government’s ability to collect the taxes she says.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dorothy; son Robert Brockman II; A brother and two grandchildren, according to Bloomberg.