DOJ Arrests Early Bitcoin Investor Roger Ver, 'Bitcoin Jesus,' on Costs of Tax Fraud

Roger Ver, a outstanding early investor in Bitcoin and famously dubbed “Bitcoin Jesus,” has been indicted by the Division of Justice (DOJ) on costs of mail fraud, tax evasion, and submitting false tax returns. Ver was arrested over the weekend in Spain primarily based on these felony costs, and the U.S. intends to hunt his extradition for trial.

The indictment alleges that Ver, previously of Santa Clara, California, owned and operated Inc. and Inc., each of which had been concerned in promoting pc and networking tools. Beginning in 2011, Ver purportedly started buying bitcoins for himself and his corporations, amassing a big quantity by 2014, totaling round 131,000 bitcoins with a price of roughly $240 million.

Ver then obtained citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis in 2014 and renounced his U.S. citizenship shortly thereafter, in a course of often called expatriation. This motion subjected him to U.S. tax legal guidelines, together with reporting capital positive factors from the sale of his worldwide belongings, together with bitcoins, and paying an “exit tax” on these positive factors.

The indictment alleges that Ver supplied false or deceptive info to a regulation agency and an appraiser, concealing the true variety of bitcoins owned by him and his corporations. This resulted within the preparation and submitting of false tax returns that considerably undervalued the businesses and their bitcoin holdings.

By 2017, Ver’s corporations nonetheless held roughly 70,000 bitcoins, which he allegedly offered on cryptocurrency exchanges for round $240 million. Regardless of not being a U.S. citizen on the time, Ver was nonetheless legally obligated to report back to the IRS and pay taxes on sure distributions, which he allegedly didn’t do, inflicting a loss to the IRS estimated at over $48 million, the indictment acknowledged.

Appearing Deputy Assistant Lawyer Basic Stuart M. Goldberg and U.S. Lawyer Martin Estrada introduced the costs, with IRS Felony Investigation’s cybercrimes unit dealing with the case. An indictment is an allegation, and all defendants are presumed harmless till confirmed responsible in court docket.

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