‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver arrested on $50m tax fraud

As a researcher with a background in tax law and a personal interest in the cryptocurrency space, I find the allegations against early Bitcoin investor Roger Ver deeply concerning. The U.S. Department of Justice’s indictment paints a picture of an individual who, despite his prominent role in promoting Bitcoin and amassing significant wealth through it, failed to comply with his tax obligations under U.S. law.

Based on an unsealed US DOJ accusation, Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin investor, faces charges for tax evasion and was taken into custody in Spain.

According to the charges brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Ver is accused of having promoted Bitcoin (BTC) and obtained the primary digital currency using his own resources and through two businesses, beginning in 2011.

In February 2014, also referred to as “Bitcoin Jesus,” Vernon Ver left behind his American citizenship through a process called expatriation. Later, he obtained citizenship from the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. According to the U.S. Justice Department, at this stage, Ver was obligated to submit tax returns for any capital gains derived from his Bitcoin holdings and report the value of these assets under American tax laws.

According to reports, Ver is believed to have owned approximately 131,000 bitcoins for personal use. Additionally, he had control over around 73,000 bitcoins through MemoryDealers.com Inc. and Agilestar.com Inc. Both companies were based in the United States and thus fell under the jurisdiction of American law.

DOJ prosecutors claimed that in 2017, Ver sold thousands of Bitcoins worth approximately $240 million and failed to pay the required capital gains and exit taxes, even though he was no longer a US citizen at the time.

As a researcher examining the indictment, I’ve discovered that the investor was required by law to disclose specific distributions they received. These distributions included company dividends from MemoryDealers and Agilestar.

The Justice Department asserted that Ver failed to disclose his cryptocurrency accounts to the IRS and concealed earnings from 2017 Bitcoin transactions, resulting in an owed tax debt surpassing $48 million. The US intends to initiate extradition proceedings against Ver upon his European arrest and pursue a trial in America.

In the early stages of cryptocurrency, Ver emerged as a notable advocate for Bitcoin. Later on, he assumed the role of CEO at Bitcoin.com – an pioneering platform designed to facilitate the storage and exchange of Bitcoin, the foremost digital asset based on blockchain technology.

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2024-04-30 22:50