A billionaire tech entrepreneur died at 81 from dementia while battling a $2 billion tax evasion claim in the largest case ever brought by a U.S. prosecutor against a single person.
Robert Brockman died Friday night while in hospice care, his attorney, Kathy Kennelly, said.
The Houston-based businessman’s death comes amid a $2 billion tax fraud claim filed by prosecutors against Brockman.
Brockman’s lawyers insist his dementia — which they say makes Alzheimer’s worse — makes him unfit to stand trial. But a judge ruled he was able to face the charges in May.
Brockman, who was born in Florida, the son of a gas station owner and a physical therapist, died with a net worth of about $4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg.
He got rich by teaching himself programming and eventually developing software that allowed car dealers to run their businesses more efficiently.
The 81-year-old is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dorothy, and a son, Robert II; as well as his brother David, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.
Brockman was indicted in 2020 on 39 counts, including wire fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, which the Justice Department said totaled $2 billion in an effort to conceal his earnings and defraud his Reynolds and Reynolds companies. investor.
Software entrepreneur Robert Brockman, who made his fortune before being indicted in the largest personal tax evasion case in U.S. history, has died.he is 81
The 81-year-old is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dorothy (pictured at right), and a son, Robert II; as well as his brother David, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren
In court filings in April, Brockman’s defense said he contracted the coronavirus in December, which led to his hospitalization with acute brain dysfunction, toxic metabolic encephalopathy (TME). They claim that COVID and TME made his dementia worse.However, a judge ruled in May that he was competent
However, Brockman’s lawyers have argued that the billionaire is incompetent to stand trial, claiming in April filings that his Parkinson’s disease caused dementia, and that he contracted the coronavirus in December after contracting the virus. , this situation will only get worse.
Brockman was hospitalized in January for toxic metabolic encephalopathy (TME), an acute brain dysfunction that may be caused by COVID, the attorneys said in the filing, claiming that “for patients who already have dementia, COVID-19 and TME can exacerbate existing dementia and accelerate cognitive decline.
The lawyers added: “During an examination by Mr Brockman’s primary care physician Dr James Poole on 15 February 2022, neuropsychological tests were performed to assess Mr Brockman’s current cognitive status. Poole The doctor concluded that Mr Brockman’s condition had progressed to severe dementia.
The lawyers also noted that follow-up tests supported the conclusion that Brockman’s mental abilities were inferior to those of the software mogul when he was last assessed in October.
Judge George Hanks, who presides over the case, had previously heard arguments over Brockman’s dementia claims in November, but has yet to rule on the issue.
Case involving Brockman charges him Hid $2 billion in revenue from the IRS over 20 years using a network of offshore companies in Bermuda, St. Kitts and Nevis.
The indictment alleges that Brockman masked his involvement by appointing the nominee to manage offshore entities for him, saying he even built a proprietary encrypted email system and used services such as “license,” “redfish” code words like ‘ and ‘Snapper’ to communicate.
Prosecutors said Brockman’s vast network of offshore trusts had expanded to the Cayman Islands, Singapore, the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Man.
Authorities have been investigating Brockman’s tax fraud allegations for years, and prosecutors claim he uncovered the investigation as far back as 2016.
Prosecutors allege that Brockman began seeking a medical evaluation for his mental health shortly after raiding his attorney’s home in Bermuda in 2018, according to court documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
A doctor discovered in March 2019 that Brockman had poor short-term memory. Prosecutors, however, claim that Brockman’s doctors had a conflict of interest because they worked with Baylor College of Medicine, to which the billionaire has donated millions of dollars over the years.
They also argue that despite Brockman’s alleged mental decline, he continued to lead his software company during this period. He took a cognitive test late last year and struggled to draw a clock, and doctors ruled he had “moderate dementia”, court documents show.
The case involving Brockman (left) alleges he used a network of offshore companies in Bermuda and St. Kitts and Nevis to hide $2 billion in income from the IRS over 20 years
DOJ outlines vast network of offshore accounts controlled by Brockman that allegedly allowed him to withhold $2 billion in taxes
The software mogul lives in his $8 million mansion (pictured) in Houston, Texas.He also owns a 143-acre Colorado estate and fishing lodge on the Frying Pan River
In addition to his possessions, Brockman also owns a 209-foot yacht called “Turmoil” (pictured)
He also owns a Bombardier Global 6,000 private jet worth about $62 million, prosecutors say
The $62 million jet usually offers its wealthy pilots a spacious and luxurious cabin
FBillionaire Robert Smith, the chief executive of a private equity firm that assisted in the alleged scheme, is cooperating with the investigation after opposing Brockman to avoid his own prosecution.
Smith, the richest black man in the United States with a net worth of about $7 billion, was also ordered to pay $139 million in back taxes and penalties.
Brockman and Smith’s business relationship dates back to the late 1990s, according to documents related to Smith’s non-prosecution agreement.
Most of his property is believed to be held in a Bermuda trust, which owns most of his software company. Court documents show the trust has assets worth at least $7 billion.
While the fortune would have landed him at No. 50 on the Forbes 400 list of billionaires, Brockman never made it to the list because Forbes placed him at $4.7 billion if the so-called hidden funds were not included. Ranked 601st.
Billionaire Robert Smith, the chief executive of a private equity firm that assisted in the alleged scheme, is cooperating with the investigation after opposing Brockman to avoid his own indictment
He owns a Houston mansion worth about $8 million, a ski lodge in Aspen, Colorado, a Bombardier private jet and a 209-foot yacht, prosecutors said.
According to court documents obtained by Bloomberg last year, the government has been trying to seize 143 acres of Colorado property and fishing huts on the Frying Pan River, as well as large amounts of cash from Swiss bank Mirabaud linked to the fraud.
Prosecutors, however, believe Brockman (above) – was faking a mental decline to avoid trial
U.S. prosecutors first sought to seize Mirabaud accounts in October 2020, and Swiss prosecutors froze more than $1 billion in Brockmann’s bank accounts, the outlet reported.
The 42-page indictment against Brockman lists two Colorado properties of interest in the case.
According to the indictment, Brockman purchased the “behind the mountain” property in Pitkin County on May 17, 2005, for $15 million.
He later spent another $15 million in funds allegedly obtained through debt fraud on December 16, 2010, at the Frying Pan Canyon Ranch in Pitkin County, according to the indictment.
Brockman allegedly spent another $8.2 million in 2014 renovating and improving the Frying Pan Canyon property.
It was unclear whether the forfeiture reported by Bloomberg also included the Queen of the Mountain’s property or his Houston mansion.
As the case against Brockman continued, his former colleagues and employees painted him as a miserly billionaire who believed the IRS was unfairly going after taxpayers.
Brockman, known for his lawsuits, would stay in budget hotels and eat frozen dinners while on business trips.
He would buy old furniture for his office and ban smoking for his employees so the company could save on health insurance.
At the time of the indictment, Reynolds and Reynolds issued a statement saying the allegations went beyond Brockman’s work with the company and that the company allegedly did not engage in any wrongdoing.
The software helps build websites, including live chat with potential clients, finding loans and calculating client payments, managing payroll and paying bills.