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Austin billionaire Robert F. Smith reaches $140M tax evasion settlement for offshore accounts
(Shutterstock)

Robert F. Smith, the billionaire investor who pledged to pay off the student debt of Morehouse College's graduating class last year, has reached a $140 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in one of "the largest known agreements by a U.S. taxpayer to resolve issues involving undeclared offshore accounts," the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.


Smith is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of the Austin-based private equity and venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners.

Bloomberg first reported in August that federal authorities had spent four years examining whether Smith failed to pay taxes on about $200 million in assets by moving them through offshore accounts.

The Journal reported that the money in the assets in question ultimately went to the Fund II Foundation, a charity Smith founded in 2014 that has supported scholarships for minority students in STEM fields, research on breast cancer in Black women and the preservation of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth and family homes.

Under the terms of the settlement, Smith will admit liability for additional taxes owed and not properly filing foreign bank account reports, but he will not be prosecuted, according to the Journal. The $140 million settlement includes an $85 million penalty, $30 million in back taxes and about $25 million in interest.

Smith's profile has increased in the last few years. He married his second wife, former Playmate of the Year Hope Dworacyzk, in 2015 and became the first Black American to sign the Giving Pledge, a campaign founded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to get billionaires to pledge at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

In May of 2019, Smith gave the commencement address at Morehouse College, a historically Black men's college in Atlanta, and announced he would pay off the student loans of the roughly 400 graduates.

Smith ranked 330th on Forbes' annual list of the world's billionaires, released in April, with an estimated net worth of $5 billion. He is the wealthiest Black person in the U.S.

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Comedy, live music, McConaughey Q&A: Events in Austin this weekend


💈 Finley’s Pop-up Barbershop

Experience luxury grooming the old-fashioned way at a revival of the Driskill Hotel’s early 1900s barbershop put on by Austin-based Finley’s. The pop-up will offer men’s haircuts, beard trims, hot towels, neck massages and straight razor shaves. Click here to book an appointment.

9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday | The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

😂 Moontower Comedy Presents Hannah Gadsby

Catch veteran Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby touring with her newest show, “Body of Work,” written while she pondered the effects of the pandemic. Tickets are still available in the orchestra section, starting at $60.

Doors at 6 p.m. Friday | The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave.

🎤 Rex Orange County Who Cares? Tour

Alexander James O'Connor, AKA Rex Orange County, is returning to Austin to perform his newest album, “Who Cares?” Tickets are still available starting at $49 each.

Doors at 7:30 p.m. Friday | Germania Insurance Amphitheater, 9201 Circuit of The Americas Blvd.

⚾️ Round Rock Express vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

Catch our local Minor League team play against the El Paso Chihuahuas at home this week. Tickets start at $22.

Starting 7:05 p.m. Friday | Dell Diamond, 3400 E Palm Valley Blvd.

🎶 Bleachers—The 2022 Tour

Enjoy a night of indie-pop from Grammy-winning producer Jack Antonoff, whose stage name is Bleachers, from the intimacy of Stubb’s. Tickets are still available starting at $33.

Starting 7:05 p.m. Saturday | Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater, 801 Red River St.

🎸 The Peterson Brothers with Latasha Lee

Catch the groovy, Bastrop-born brothers are taking their rightful place on stage with soulstress Latasha Lee at Antone’s. Arrive early, seating fills up quickly! The show is 21+ and tickets start at $15.

Doors at 7 p.m. Saturday | Antone's Nightclub, 305 E 5th St.

🤠 Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughey Q&A

Famous former Longhorns Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughey are joining forces for a Q&A about catching greenlights and living a limitless life. Each ticket will get the holder a copy of Acho’s new book, “Illogical: Saying Yes to a Life Without Limits.” Tickets are $39 per person.

1:15 p.m. Sunday | LBJ Auditorium, 2313 Red River St.

⚽️ Austin FC vs. Orlando City

Austin FC is facing off against Orlando City at the biggest party in Austin, Q2 Stadium. Tickets are still available starting at $65 but ticketless Verde fans can still support at one of the many Pub Clubs.

7 p.m. Sunday | Q2 Stadium, 10414 Mc Kalla Pl.


Austin FC wins big! Team makes history, takes No. 1 spot in 2-1 LAFC win

Over a year after its first loss, Austin FC was all smiles as it beat LAFC to take home the top MLS West spot Wednesday. (Austin FC/Twitter)

Over a year after they took the stage for the first time in Los Angeles, Austin FC returned to Banc of America Stadium to snatch the No. 1 spot from LAFC in a 2-1 statement win late Wednesday night.

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