Billionaire who offered to pay Morehouse class student debt settles tax evasion case with DOJ – WSB-TV Channel 2
ATLANTA – The billionaire who pledged to pay off all academic debts for the Morehouse College class of 2019 now admits he is guilty of hiding money from the world and failing to pay millions of dollars in ‘taxes.
Channel 2 Action News was there when billionaire investor Robert Smith pledged to pay off the class’s student debt, which stood at around $ 34 million.
As far as we can tell, he actually did.
Despite Smith’s guilty plea, a Morehouse graduate said Richard Elliot of Channel 2 that he’s still grateful for what Smith has done.
Elliot obtained a document Smith signed last week in which he admitted to the US Department of Justice he was guilty of tax evasion and hiding money from shell companies around the world.
He also agreed to pay back more than $ 130 million in taxes and give up more than $ 180 million in charitable contributions.
Apparently that $ 180 million does not include the 2019 student debt pledge. Smith has already paid that money and inspired others to do the same.
In a statement Tuesday, Morehouse College said:
“The donation inspired other benefactors to donate more than $ 50 million in scholarships to Morehouse College’s student success program. We appreciate the leadership and generosity of Dr. Smith.
From his home in Missouri, Elijah Dormeus, a graduate of Morehouse, said Smith had paid off his student loan in full and the debt of other Morehouse graduates.
“I had over $ 125,000 in debt,” Dormeaus told Elliot.
Now, instead of working to pay off the debt, Dormeaus said he was working with his own foundation to provide scholarships for new students.
He said Smith’s admission of guilt shouldn’t tarnish the legacy of what he’s done for more than 300 Morehouse graduates.
“So I mean, yeah, it could be tax evasion, which of course I don’t applaud, but in the end it was always to help someone else. “said Dormeaus.
By making the deal with the DOJ, Smith avoided prosecution and jail time.
Cox Media Group