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Bitcoin Jesus Arrested: Tax Evasion Charges Rock Crypto World

– Bitcoin pioneer Roger Ver arrested in Spain over $48M tax evasion.
– U.S. seeks extradition of ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ for alleged tax fraud charges.



Roger Keith Ver, 45, was arrested this past weekend in Spain
Roger Keith Ver, 45, was arrested this past weekend in Spain

Roger Ver, a renowned early investor in Bitcoin and popularly known as “Bitcoin Jesus,” has been arrested in Spain on charges of tax evasion, as confirmed by the US Department of Justice on Tuesday. The 45-year-old faces allegations of evading at least $48 million in taxes through methods detailed in an indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court, which was recently unsealed following his arrest.

Ver, who once held the position of CEO at, gained significant attention in the cryptocurrency sphere after he started acquiring bitcoins in 2011. His enthusiastic promotion of Bitcoin earned him his biblical moniker. However, his financial dealings have now put him under scrutiny. In 2014, Ver renounced his US citizenship and became a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, a move that prosecutors highlight had immediate tax implications due to the “constructive sale” doctrine. This doctrine treats property as sold for its fair market value the day before one renounces their citizenship, thereby triggering tax obligations.

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At the time of changing his citizenship, Ver and his two companies, and, reportedly held approximately 131,000 bitcoins valued over $114 million. However, the indictment accuses him of providing misleading information to the law firm responsible for his expatriation-related tax returns and undervaluing his assets.

In 2017, Ver allegedly sold about 70,000 bitcoins for approximately $240 million but failed to meet the tax obligations on the gains from these sales and distributions from his US-based companies. According to the indictment, this resulted in a $48 million tax shortfall for the IRS from 2014 to 2017.

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Bryan Skarlatos, Ver’s attorney, expressed his disappointment and surprise at the arrest, emphasizing that Ver had relied on tax professionals to ensure compliance with US tax laws. Skarlatos stated, “Mr. Ver relied on leading tax professionals to help him report his Bitcoin and he always intended to fully comply with his US tax obligations. We look forward to establishing his innocence in court, if necessary.”

The US Department of Justice is currently seeking Ver’s extradition to face these charges. The case highlights the ongoing challenges and legal implications surrounding cryptocurrency ownership and tax compliance, signaling a cautionary tale for digital asset investors globally.


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