Oleg Tinkov to Pay $500 Million for U.S. Tax Fraud

TCS Group’s billionaire founder Oleg Tinkov agreed to pay more than $500 million and pleaded guilty in a 2013 U.S. fraud case that accused him of concealing assets to evade paying taxes, the Justice Department said.

Tinkov, 53, hid $1 billion in assets and income when he renounced his U.S. citizenship following TCS Group’s initial public offering, according to an indictment unsealed last year. After his was arrested in February 2020 in London, he was contesting extradition to the U.S. while undergoing treatment for leukemia.

The alleged fraud is about half that of the biggest-ever tax evasion case brought by U.S. prosecutors. Robert T. Brockman, a Houston software tycoon, was charged in October with using a web of Caribbean entities to hide $2 billion in income.

Tinkov has agreed to pay $506,828,377, which includes unpaid 2013 taxes, the penalty for civil fraud and interest, according to a statement Friday by the Justice Department. Tinkov’s fortune is an estimated $8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In 2013, Tinkov falsely reported income of less than $206,000 in a tax return even though he pocketed more than $192 million from the TCS initial public offering on the London Stock exchange in October of that year, according to U.S. prosecutors. Three days after the IPO, the billionaire went to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to give up his U.S. citizenship, prosecutors have said.

His sentencing is set for Oct. 29 in Oakland, California.

The case is USA v. Tinkov, 4:19-cr-00489, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).