Founder, CEO of Cvent’s private equity owner caught up in federal tax fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced that private equity firm CEO Robert F. Smith has entered into a non-prosecution agreement on an international tax fraud scheme, agreeing to pay $139 million, abandon $182 million in charitable contribution deductions and cooperate with an ongoing government investigation.

Smith founded Vista Equity Partners, which maintains offices in both San Francisco and Oakland and invests mainly in software companies in 2000. Vista acquired Cvent, the McLean events data company, in 2016.

Smith ranked No. 125 on Forbes’ 2020 list of wealthiest Americans at $5.2 billion and is frequently identified as the wealthiest Black American.

Smith’s firm was not a named party to the agreement, but on Thursday, Houston billionaire Robert Brockman was charged in a $2 billion tax evasion scheme tied to Vista Equity Partners. According to the DOJ indictment, Brockman in 2000 committed $300 million to Vista Equity’s first private equity fund, and in 2004, Brockman’s…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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