4. When philanthropy is intertwined with tax evasion

Illustration of gift wrapping paper with a hundred dollar bill pattern being torn away to reveal wrapping paper with a penny pattern.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Private equity billionaire Robert Smith — the richest Black person in America — spent 15 years evading taxes on more than $200 million of income, by parking it in secret offshore accounts.

  • When he was caught, he agreed to pay a fine of $140 million, thereby avoiding criminal prosecution. By that point, he'd donated all of the money to charity.
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