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CHICAGO (AP) - The billionaire creator of Beanie Babies, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion, pointed to an unhappy childhood and his charity work as reasons he should be spared a prison sentence.

H. Ty Warner faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced later this month in Chicago. But in court papers filed this week in U.S. District Court, he contended he should instead get probation.

The 69-year-old Warner admitted in October that he evaded paying taxes over an 11-year period. Under sentencing guidelines, Judge Charles Kocoras can consider Warner's charitable gifts and agreeing to pay $69 million in back taxes and interest.

Beanie Babies first appeared in the '90s, triggering a craze for the plush toys fashioned into animals. Forbes recently put Warner's net worth at $2.6 billion.

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