Igor Olenicoff, a billionaire industrial and commercial property developer, has pleaded guilty to filing a false 2002 tax return and paid $52 million in back taxes and penalties in an effort to stay out of jail.

The 65-year-old faces the possibility of three years in prison and is scheduled for sentencing in April. His wealth is estimated at $1.7 billion by Forbes magazine, which includes him on its Forbes 400 list at No. 286.

The developer owns 65 commercial properties, more than 10,000 apartments and 33 residential communities through his company, Olen Properties. He had denied on his tax filings trying to hide his assets offshore, but admitted in his plea agreement that he had transferred $346 million to accounts in Switzerland, the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.

Olenicoff has been under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for 13 years.

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