Robert Brockman, software developer who fought the IRS, has died

Robert Brockman, software developer who fought the IRS, has died
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Robert Brockman, who built a multibillion-dollar fortune as a software entrepreneur and investor before being indicted for tax evasion, has died. He was 81 years old.

Robert Brockman, who built a multibillion-dollar fortune as a software entrepreneur and investor before being indicted for tax evasion, has died. He was 81 years old.

Brockman, who suffers from dementia, and man Hospice care, he died late Friday, said Kathy Keneally, his attorney. He had been fighting tax evasion charges since 2020, but his lawyers said his dementia meant he was not competent to stand trial.

In May, a judge ruled that Brockman was competent. At a court hearing a month later, the judge initially scheduled the trial for February. 23, 2023. Brockman was seen in bed during that hearing via video.

“The government wasted time and resources to prosecute a man WHO he had progressive dementia and was terminally ill,” Keneally said.

In his younger days, Brockman was known as a tireless worker with a physical passion fitness, fly fishing in Colorado and dove hunting in Argentina. Forbes estimated his fortune at $4.7 billion.

Brockman, a Florida native of humble origins, was selling calculation Services to automobile dealers on behalf of International Business Machines Corp. In 1970, he founded a company that helped revolutionize how industry Operations in North America and Europe.

A self-taught programmer, Brockman developed a software system that helps car dealers control almost every aspect of their operations. He acquired more than a dozen patents and built his software company, Reynolds & Reynolds, into a 5,000-person operation worth nearly $5 billion.

As Brockman built his firm into an industry powerhouse, he also defended numerous lawsuits accusing him of shoddy business practices. Sellers accused his company of stiffing them on payments; car dealers said he was tricking them into expensive multi-year contracts. The Federal Trade Commission investigated whether it engaged in anticompetitive practices.

A former Marine reservist who surrounded himself with loyal lieutenants, Brockman had a desire for personal privacy until his dealings with the Internal Revenue Service.

‚ÄúThere was Brockman one rule: don’t Business with the government,” said entrepreneur Robert Tyson, who won a lawsuit against Brockman over unpaid compensation for services rendered. “He didn’t want the feds looking at anything.”

In October 2020, the United States indicted Brockman in the largest-ever tax evasion case against an individual, as well as money laundering.

hearth telephones

Brockman helped launch the private equity career of Robert F. Smith, America’s wealthiest black man, with an early investment in his firm, Vista Equity Partners. Prosecutors alleged that Brockman used a network of offshore entities, code names and phones to hide $2 billion in income from the IRS, much of it through Vista investments.

Smith pleaded guilty to tax crimes but avoided prosecution by cooperating with prosecutors against Brockman.

The case against Brockman hinged on whether billions of dollars in offshore charitable trusts were secretly managed by him, as prosecutors alleged, or independently, as he claimed. Prosecutors said he used untaxed earnings from offshore companies to buy a Colorado fishing lodge, a private jet and a 200-foot yacht, which his lawyers denied.

“In more than 25 years as a special agent, I have never seen this pattern of greed, concealment and cover-up,” IRS official James Lee said when the charges were filed.

Brockman pleaded not guilty, but his lawyers soon began to argue that dementia could not help his defense.

Robert Theron Brockman was born in St. Petersburg. Petersburg, Florida, on May 28, 1941. His father, Alfred Eugene Brockman, owned a gas station. His mother, Pearl, was a physical therapist. With the family struggling financially, Brockman “decided he didn’t like it and went out to make something of himself,” said his younger brother David. The Wall Street Journal in 2021.

Seed Appearance

After graduating with honors from the University of Florida in 1963, Brockman worked as a marketing intern. Ford Motor Co. before moving IBMbecame a best seller here Washington and Houston. In 1970, he founded his own Universal company computer Systems and began providing auto dealerships with weekly inventory reports, Auto News reports.

While Brockman was building his company, he met Smith, who was then rising Goldman Sachs technology investment banker. Brockman later led Smith’s firm, Vista, to acquire at least $1 billion in enterprise software firms. Prosecutors say the deal was designed to keep profits offshore.

In 2006, Brockman brought together his software and investment interests to craft the acquisition that took UCS to the big leagues. Brockman’s closely held firm bought Reynolds & Reynolds, a public company. Part of the equity financing came from Vista’s original fund, in which Brockman was the sole outside investor.

The combined firm took the name Reynolds & Reynolds and was managed by a Bermudian charitable trust founded in the name of Brockman’s father. Brockman’s wealth grew, as did the trust’s offshore assets.

In addition to his $5 billion software company holdings, his wife Dorothy testified in a Bermudian court that $1.3 billion was invested through an entity in the British Virgin Islands and $1.4 billion in a Swiss bank. .

support for Opera

A Bermudian trust and the Brockmans also became active benefactors. Their gifts included tens of millions of dollars to Baylor College of Medicine, of which Brockman is a trustee, and the Brockman Hall for Opera at Rice University in Houston. They also supported dozens of students with scholarships.

However, in 2018, US tax authorities raided Brockman’s lawyers in Houston and Bermuda. They discovered a cache of encrypted documents and messages that prosecutors used to build their case against Brockman.

Last year, the IRS valued Brockman at $1.4 billion, which it said he owed from 2004 to 2018. In January, he sued the United States USA suspend the agency’s immediate assessment of that fee. Days later, he filed a separate lawsuit in Tax Court. Even though his criminal case is over, the IRS battle against his estate could take years.

“Whether or not Bob Brockman actually owes more taxes, the taxes we’re disputing, may have to wait for the Tax Court to decide,” Keneally said.

He is survived by his brother David; his wife of 53 years, Dorothy; a son, Robert Brockman II; bride; grandson; and grandson.

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