IRS says Texas businessman and late brother owe more than $3 billion in back taxes, penalties

The IRS wants $3.2 billion to cover back taxes that it says are owed by a prominent Texas businessman and his late brother who the IRS says hid income by setting up overseas trust funds.

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The Internal Revenue Service detailed its claim in documents filed Wednesday in federal bankruptcy court in Dallas. It seeks to recover more than $2 billion in unpaid income taxes, interest and penalties from Sam Wyly and more than $1.2 billion from the estate of his brother, Charles Wyly.

A lawyer for the Wylys, Stewart Thomas, called the IRS claims "unfair and absurd."

The brothers founded or bought controlling interest in software companies, a restaurant chain and Michaels crafts stores. Sam Wyly filed for bankruptcy last year. Charles Wyly died in a car crash in 2011.