In this Jan. 14, 2014 file photo, H. Ty Warner, the billionaire who created Beanie Babies, arrives at federal court for sentencing in Chicago. / Andrew Nelles, AP
CHICAGO (AP) - Prosecutors say a judge erred by letting the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies off with no prison time for hiding millions from U.S. tax authorities in Swiss banks. They want the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to order that he be resentenced.
They argue in an appeal filed Friday that the tax evasion H. Ty Warner pleaded guilty to called for a stint behind bars. At his January sentencing, they asked that the 69-year-old be imprisoned for at least a year.
But Judge Charles Kocoras heaped praise on the toymaker for his charitable giving. Kocoras said society was better served by giving Warner two years' probation.
In their 55-page appeal, prosecutors said Warner's light sentence could send a message that there's a different standard for the wealthy.
ith the overwhelming support of Arkansas voters.
The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Since then, lower-court judges have repeatedly cited the Supreme Court decision when striking down some of the same-sex marriage bans that were enacted after Massachusetts started recognizing gay marriages in 2004.
Since late last year, federal judges have ruled against marriage bans in Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Texas, and ordered Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
In all, according to gay-rights groups, more than 70 lawsuits seeking marriage equality are pending in about 30 states. Democratic attorneys general in several states - including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Oregon and Kentucky - have declined to defend same-sex marriage bans.
McDaniel, a Democrat in his final year as attorney general, is the first statewide elected official in Arkansas to support marriage equality. The state's other top Democrats, including Gov. Mike Beebe and U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, have said they still oppose gay marriage rights.
The plaintiffs argue that their rights to due process and equal protection can't be superseded, even by a state constitutional amendment. Attorneys for the state have argued that an amendment to the state constitution can't itself be deemed unconstitutional.
A group of same-sex couples have also challenged Arkansas' ban in federal court.
BC-US--Gay Marriage Arkansas,1st Ld-Writethru
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