Hedge fund billionaire Sandell pays $105 million to settle NY tax fraud case

FILE PHOTO: New York State Attorney General Letitia James in New York City, U.S., November 19, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire hedge fund manager Thomas Sandell has paid $105 million in back taxes and damages to settle charges he defrauded New York state and New York City out of taxes owed on fees he generated in 2017, officials said on Tuesday.

Sandell, a principal at Sandell Asset Management Corp, did not admit or deny allegations made by state Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Corporation Counsel James Johnson, who jointly announced the settlement on Tuesday.

James said Sandell tried to escape liability on $450 million of deferred fee income in 2017 by moving to London and taking steps to create the false impression that his firm no longer operated in New York City.

“Thomas Sandell and his company bilked New York taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars in a single year,” James said in a statement. “The greed that allowed one man to try to avoid paying his fair share of taxes is astonishing.”

Christopher Doyle, a lawyer for Sandell and his firm, declined to comment on their behalf, but said “we’re happy to have been able to help Mr. Sandell and his companies resolve this matter.”

Sandell transformed his firm into a family office in 2019 and is worth $1.3 billion, Forbes magazine said.

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