Financial regulator wants to send a message with penalty in Texas brothers' tax evasion case

Associated Press

The Securities and Exchange Commission is trying to make an example of two Texas brothers convicted in New York of acting fraudulently to evade taxes.

A Manhattan federal judge is presiding this week over the penalty phase of a civil trial against Sam Wyly and the estate of his brother Charles.

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A lawyer for the brothers argued Wednesday that the regulatory agency is asking for way too much money.

On Monday, a government lawyer said the brothers made over $500 million through an offshore system set up to evade taxes.

She says they used some of the money to invest $600 million in U.S. business, $85 million in real estate and $40 million in furniture, art and jewelry.

The brothers eventually made billions of dollars selling four public companies.