Authorities believe they may have tracked down one of the world’s most wanted tax cheats, ComputerLand founder William H. Millard, after more than 20 years on the run. The eccentric millionaire was tracked down in the Grand Cayman Island, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. He was reportedly spotted living in a yellow mansion with his wife. He left ComputerLand in 1987 after a long battle against investors, moved his family to Saipan – and even began building a castle on the island’s coastline, according to the Journal.

But after things went south and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands ordered him to pay $36 million in taxes in 1994, he disappeared. During his time missing, he was traced to Singapore, Ireland, Brussels and Hong Kong – before finally being spotted taking a walk outside his home in the Caymans. Prosecutors told the Journal he’s linked to a network of 50 shell companies, trust and banks accounts.

“This is one of the most sophisticated and complicated cases of offshore asset structuring that we have ever seen,” Kim, the prosecutor, said.

If nabbed, the legal troubles will add onto the long fall of Millard, who was once considered one of the richest men in America. His computer chain, ComputerLand, had 800 retail outlets that did a whopping $1.4 billion worth of business in 1984, according to a 1985 Fortune Magazine article on Millard.

  1. ProfessorTom says:

    This is what happens when you’re a bad human resource and you don’t pay your taxes like a good little slave.

  2. canamrotax says:

    This is the one guy who should write a how to book.

  3. sargasso_c says:

    In New Zealand, he would be our next Prime Minister.

  4. MikeN says:

    He should have bought a pardon from Bill Clinton. Maybe he doesn’t have a wife he can pimp out?

    Perhaps Obama will be available as he gave 500 million in govt money to a campaign donor, claiming green jobs.

  5. msbpodcast says:

    In the USA, he would be running for congress and/or the senate.

    Here’s a definition of the process:

    Election, noun, a process of getting money from Political Action Committees (PACs) and special interestsso you can buy votes, though now they come directly from Diebold a.k.a. Sequoia, a.k.a. Dominion Voting which saves a lots of worrying, [Sequoia is all business and dependable. Once bought, they stay bought, {They’d spam Brigitte Bardot with emails promoting travel for baby seal hunting in Newfoundland.}])

  6. notatall says:

    Wow, Mister IMSAI himself. Guess all that EST can get you out of building a crappy computer but not out from under the tax code.

  7. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    Does anyone remember shopping at ComputerLand? Notice how the capital “L” in ComputerLand is capitalized – an early example of camel case.

    Could aspects of the CEO being influenced by EST be seen in ComputerLand’s stores?

    Was it “trendier” than a Radio Shack Computer Center, for instance?

  8. Skeptic says:

    “He was reportedly spotted living in a yellow mansion”

    Yeah, those yellow mansions are hard to spot. No wonder they couldn’t find him.

  9. Uncle Dave says:

    You don’t know wretched excess.

    Back in the early 80’s, some friends and I snuck into the yearly dinner ComputerLand held for their store owners in a San Francisco hotel. We came in through a back door and sat at a nearly empty table with a couple who owned a store in Iowa or something. We joked that we owned a store in Milwaukee. Since we were all programmers, we could easily talk to them. And since the waiters didn’t check for badges, we got served a meal that back then would have cost well over $100 per plate.

    Between the first and second courses, the room went dark and dozens of waiters lit the candles in carved ice swans that held sherbet before serving them. One swan for each person of which there had to have been easily 500 in the monster ballroom.

    After the meal, Mallard got up and joked with one of his VPs who had just bought his second Rolls Royce the day before. That’s about when we snuck back out.

    In the early 90’s, I briefly did consulting work with Bruce Van Natta, employee #4 at IMSAI who, like many, later sued Mallard over ComputerLand.

    The whole insane IMSAI/Computerland/Mallard debacle is written about in “Once Upon A Time In Computerland” by Jonathan Littman. A fascinating read.

    • Mark Van Natta says:

      I am the youngest son of Bruce Van Natta. It’s totally a shame what Millard did to our family. I hope he finally gets some of the punishment he deserves.
      Mark (Van Natta) Dasef

  10. Glenn E. says:

    SO now he’s on the Misfortune 500 list. I have to think they could have found this guy, if they really wanted to. He wasn’t exactly living dirt poor. How many castle and mansions would they have to check out to find him. I’m thinking he got behind in his payments, “to stay anonymous”, to local officials. And they finally blew the whistle on him. Avoiding taxes is one thing. Forgetting to pay your protection bill, another.

  11. Peppeddu says:

    With all due respect, this guy is just a beginner.

    The real pro, and I mean, superstar, is the Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi.

    In the 70s and 80s, he setup 64 offshore companies in order to hide 1.8 Billions Euros where otherwise he would have to pay taxes on it.

    To date the Italian “IRS” was unable to trace back the complete path of where the money went and he can walk as a free man thanks also to some very generous statue of limitations laws that he has setup once he took office.

    Even when his ex lawyer David Mills confessed-in-writing to his accountant about a $600,000 bribe he has received, he still Berlusconi walks as a free man.
    Because even though Mills has been found guilty of receiving a bribe, new laws in Italy stipulate that “evidence in one trial cannot be used in another trial”.
    Combine that with the status of limitation and you have a situation where:
    Mills was corrupted by Berlusconi (trial #1)
    Berlusconi did not corrupt Mills (trial #2)

    Google “berlusconi mills trial” for the details, and leave the adjectives like “sophisticated” “complicated” to the real pro please.

  12. McCullough says:

    #10. Uncle Davey – seen it first hand myself..late 90’s on the island of St. John (I was living there at the time) Oracle Conference for it’s employees at the Westin Resort (all flown in everything paid for) a surprise guest.

    Jimmy Buffett was flown in for a PRIVATE concert on the beach. They actually blocked off both ends of the beach so the locals wouldn’t taint their party.

    Didn’t help though, got in through the bush.

    Talked to a few people there, they were making insane amounts of money, and it was announced a stock split that evening..the crowd went wild.

  13. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    #13 McCullough – Wasn’t this about the time Jimmy Buffet performed in Sardinia for Tyco International’s CEO Dennis Koslosky’s wife’s birthday party?

  14. McCullough says:

    #14. CGF – Yes, as a matter of fact. A little before the tech bubble burst.

    Any excuse to partay on an island.

  15. HUGSaLOT says:

    whatever happened to Computerland anyway?


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