‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver Indicted for Evading Tax on Crypto Millions

U.S. prosecutors have charged bitcoin pioneer Roger Ver with tax evasion, fraud over concealing his ownership of over 70,000 bitcoins worth millions.

Key Insights

  • Roger Ver has been indicted on charges of tax evasion, fraud, and filing false tax returns.
  • Prosecutors allege Ver concealed $48 million in cryptocurrency income from the IRS by hiding his ownership of over 70,000 bitcoins.
  • Ver, arrested in Spain, faces potential extradition to the U.S. and could face decades in prison if convicted on all counts.

NEW YORK (MarketsXplora) – Roger Ver, an early investor in bitcoin nicknamed “Bitcoin Jesus”, has been indicted on charges of tax evasion, fraud and filing false tax returns related to his alleged concealment of $48 million in cryptocurrency income, U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Ver, who was arrested in Spain over the weekend and faces potential extradition to the United States, is accused of hiding from tax authorities his ownership of over 70,000 bitcoins through companies he controlled, according to the unsealed federal indictment.

“The indictment further alleges that by June 2017, Ver’s two companies continued to own approximately 70,000 bitcoins. Around that time, Ver allegedly took possession of those bitcoins and in November 2017 sold tens of thousands of them on cryptocurrency exchanges for approximately $240 million in cash,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

Prosecutors allege Ver, formerly a California resident, concealed from his accountant that he personally received and sold the bitcoin holdings of his companies MemoryDealers and Agilestar in 2017. This caused his individual tax return that year to underreport his gains and income.

In addition to the tax charges, Ver is also accused of using legal services to file false corporate tax returns that vastly undervalued MemoryDealers and Agilestar by omitting their combined 73,000 bitcoin stash worth $48 million at the time.

“Even though Ver was not then a U.S. citizen, he was still legally required to report to the IRS and pay tax on certain distributions such as dividends from MemoryDealers and Agilestar, which were U.S. corporations,” prosecutors said.

Ver had renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2014 after purportedly gaining citizenship in the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. He was previously CEO of the bitcoin wallet provider Bitcoin.com.

If convicted on all counts, Ver faces a maximum sentence of decades in prison. Christopher Darden, one of Ver’s attorneys, told the New York Times his client had maintained his innocence.

The indictment is the latest from U.S. authorities targeting alleged tax evasion and financial crimes involving cryptocurrency assets. Prosecutors have pressed similar cases against founders of crypto exchanges and software tools.

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