Criminal Tax Cheat Robert Smith of Private Equity Firm Vista Gets a Pass for Conduct Worse Than Apollo’s Leon Black, Now in Epstein Doghouse


Smith, who has a $7 billion net worth and is best known for having paid off the student debt of the 2019 graduates of Morehouse College, paid $139 million, admitted to guilt, and agreed to cooperate in the criminal tax fraud case against Texas software billionaire Robert T. Brockman, where the Feds allege $2 billion in tax evasion over 20 years. Brockman put Smith’s Vista in business as the sole investor in its first fund, via a $1 billion capital commitment.

Before we get to the details of the aggressive influence-peddling deployed to keep Smith from being indicted, bear in mind why it’s certain Smith got off easy.

First, the IRS unearthed that Smith’s hidden income, estimated at $200 million, via external means, in this case, being accused by his former wife. That lead probably led to other digging, say probing with Suspicious Activity Reports from Smith’s banks. That means that “more than $200 million” is pretty certain to be the minimum amount of money Smith stashed away from the taxman’s eyes. If Smith had been indicted, prosecutors would have done discovery on Smith’s accounts and probably on those of individuals and companies whose dealings with Smith could possibly have been part of his schemes.

Author(s): Yves Smith

Publication Date: 10 February 2021

Publication Site: naked capitalism