Beanie Babies’ creator cries as he admits evading taxes

The billionaire who created Beanie Babies has pleaded guilty to a tax evasion charge that could send him to prison for years.

H. Ty Warner broke down crying in court and apologized as he entered his plea on Wednesday. Then, he removed his designer tortoise-shell glasses and sought to regain his composure before a federal judge in Chicago.

He said he knew he had much to be thankful for, mentioning his successful stuffed-toys company.

He added, “There’s no excuse for my actions.”

Judge Charles Kocoras stopped Warner and told him “there will be time for you to bare your soul” at the Jan. 15 sentencing.

The 69-year-old admitted he failed to pay around $5 million in taxes due over 11 years. Tax evasion carries a maximum five-year prison term.

Louis Vuitton losing Jacobs as its creative tour de force

French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton says Marc Jacobs is stepping down as creative director of its flagship brand Louis Vuitton.

Jacobs, who is also the director of an eponymous brand, is one of the biggest names in the fashion industry. Under his tenure, Louis Vuitton became the most lucrative fashion house in the world, in part thanks to his creation of a ready-to-wear line.

He held Wednesday what will likely be his last show at the head of Louis Vuitton.

LVMH, which owns the Louis Vuitton brand and an array of other luxury names in everything from jewelry to champagne, would not say who would replace Jacobs or what his next move would be.

Empire State Building stock makes its Wall Street debut

Throngs of tourists ascend the Empire State Building daily to gape out over New York. Now investors can also be part of the story of the skyscraper made famous in films such as “Sleepless in Seattle” and “King Kong.”

The owner of the building, Empire State Realty Trust Inc., made its market debut Wednesday more than a year and a half after announcing its intent to go public. The company first had to grapple with lawsuits brought by investors taking issue with the structure of the offering.

After a day of heavy trading, the stock ended up 10 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $13.10.

– From news service reports