January 16, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Billionaire sheth leaving vista equity. Central Texas billionaire Brian Sheth is resigning as president of Austin based Vista Equity Partners in the wake of a highly publicized tax evasion case against Vista Equity founder, chairman and CEO Robert F. Smith. Sheth, 45, will "depart the firm effective immediately," Vista Equity said in a news release sent out on Thanksgiving afternoon. In the news release, Vista Equity said Sheth "played a leading role in key portfolio company acquisitions, team development and sales which generated leading performance and returns for Vista's investors. "I want to thanks Brian for his partnership and contributions to Vista's success--from working together to build an engineered solution to private equity, to establishing a standard of excellence across Vista ecosystem. On behalf of the Vista family, we wish him the very best in his future endeavors," Smith said in a written statement. Billionaire sheth leaving vista equity.

The firm's news release made no mention of Sheth's tax evasion case, and a spokesperson for Smith told Forbes magazine that Sheth's departure was not related to the case, the magazine reported. But Sheth's departure comes little more than a month after the U.S. Justice Department announced that Smith had agreed to pay $139 million in penalties to end a four year investigation into alleged tax evasion law violations. Smith also agreed to abandon claims for tax refunds of $182 million that were filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Smith admitted liability for additional taxes owed and for failing to properly file foreign bank account reports but would not be prosecuted, the Justice Department said. The settlement was a stunning blow to the reputation of Smith, 57, who has an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion, according to Forbes magazine's list of U.S. billionaires. Smith is estimated to be the wealthiest black person in America, and is the only Black American to have signed Warren Buffet's Giving pledge, publicly committing to give away the majority of his wealth to philanthropic causes.

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