Celebrity socialite and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner could reportedly face “serious” jail time, after Forbes claimed the Kylie Cosmetics founder bluffed her business size to gain billionaire status, a criminal defence attorney has said.
The Forbes article claimed Jenner inflated the “size and success” of Kylie Cosmetics to achieve billionaire status in 2019, but the fine print of the business’ sale to Coty earlier this year revealed it was significantly smaller, and less profitable, than the family led the industry to believe.
“Based on this new information — plus the impact of COVID-19 on beauty stocks and consumer spending — Forbes now thinks that Kylie Jenner, even after pocketing an estimated $US340 million after taxes from the sale, is not a billionaire,” Forbes stated.
The publication re-evaluated Jenner’s worth to stand at US$900 million.
Though it’s not a crime in itself to inflate her numbers to Forbes, if Jenner attempted to legitimise her billionaire status by submitting false tax returns to the US equivalent of the ATO, the Internal Revenue Service, she could be imprisoned, Beverly Hills attorney Adam Michael Sachs said.
Sachs told The Sun it was “highly unlikely” Jenner was dishonest with the government, but if she was, it would constitute a “very serious offence,” one which would land her in jail.
“It’s very hard to believe someone at her level would risk major tax fraud,” Sachs said.
“It’s all about vanity for her as it is for a lot of people who reach for the title of ‘billionaire.’ It’s absolutely possible someone said to her ‘Let’s massage a little here and massage a little there’ when speaking to Forbes.
“But it’s very hard to believe she forged tax documents to the IRS,” he said.
And given business owners more often try to claim they made less than they actually did to avoid paying higher taxes, it would be odd for Jenner to claim she made more, Sachs said.
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