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‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Arrested in Spain for Evading $48 Million in US Taxes

Finance Magnates

Cryptocoins News / Finance Magnates 55 Views

Roger Ver, an early investor in Bitcoin and now an advocate of Bitcoin Cash, was arrested last weekend in Spain on US-brought criminal charges of mail fraud, tax evasion, and filing false tax returns. The authorities in the United States will now seek his extradition.

According to an announcement by the Justice Department yesterday (Monday), Ver evaded at least $48 million in taxes in the United States.

The Face of Bitcoin Cash

Ver is a vocal crypto advocate who even gained the title of “Bitcoin Jesus” in the early years of cryptocurrency adoption. However, he disagreed with the majority of the Bitcoin miners who opposed changes to the blockchain, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash. Ver became a strong advocate for Bitcoin Cash.

According to the latest announcement, Ver obtained citizenship from St. Kitts and Nevis in early 2014 and renounced his US citizenship. However, he continued to own MemoryDealers and Agilestar, two US-incorporated companies that sold computer and networking equipment.

An Early Bitcoin Investor

The US authorities allege that Ver began acquiring Bitcoins for himself and his companies as early as 2011. However, he failed to pay an “exit tax” allegedly during his expatriation. He is even accused of concealing information from a law firm he hired, resulting in the filing of false tax returns.

“As a result of his expatriation, Ver allegedly was required under US law to file tax returns that reported capital gains from the constructive sale of his worldwide assets, including the Bitcoins, and to report the fair market value of his assets. He was also allegedly required to pay a tax – referred to as an “exit tax” – on those capital gains,” the Justice Department noted.

The estimates of the US authorities show that Ver and his companies owned approximately 131,000 Bitcoins when he obtained St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship. The two companies held 73,000 of those Bitcoins.

“Ver allegedly provided or caused to be provided false or misleading information to the law firm and appraiser that concealed the true number of Bitcoins he and his companies owned,” the Justice Department added. “As a result, the law firm allegedly prepared and filed false tax returns that substantially undervalued the two companies and their 73,000 Bitcoins and did not report that Ver owned any Bitcoins personally.”

Furthermore, Ver sold “tens of thousands” of Bitcoins in November 2017 for about $240 million in cash. According to the US authorities, he needed to report the gains to the IRS and pay tax on the dividends he received from the two US-incorporated companies.

“Ver’s 2017 individual income tax return did not report any gain or pay any tax related to the distribution of MemoryDealers’ and Agilestar’s Bitcoins to him,” the Justice Department noted. “In total, Ver is alleged to have caused a loss to the IRS of at least $48 million.”

This article was written by Arnab Shome at
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