‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Busted


(TheProudRepublic.com) – In a new bust of a bitcoin magnate, the US Justice Department has disclosed charges of criminal tax fraud against prominent crypto investor Roger Ver, who earned the moniker “Bitcoin Jesus” due to his early and lucrative engagement with the cryptocurrency.

Ver is accused of evading taxes amounting to at least $48 million, as per the indictment made public on Tuesday.

The legal charges, lodged in a federal court in California, assert that Ver conducted the fraudulent activities by neglecting to declare a fraction of his 131,000 bitcoin assets acquired in 2014.

This was the year he gave up his US citizenship to become a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, CNBC reports.

At that time, the value of one bitcoin was approximately $871. On Wednesday morning, it was valued at $57,416, elevating the worth of Ver’s holdings to over $7.5 billion.

When one renounces US citizenship, they are required to pay a special tax to the Internal Revenue Service.

The DOJ contends that during the preparation of these tax documents, Ver misrepresented the extent of his bitcoin assets, thereby dodging the appropriate taxes.

Even after his expatriation, the indictment alleges that Ver persistently underreported his bitcoin assets for which he still owed US taxes.

Over the past weekend, Ver was detained in Spain, and the United States is currently seeking his extradition to face trial on eight charges linked to tax evasion, mail fraud, and the submission of false tax returns.

“At this time, I can say that we are very disappointed and surprised that Mr. Ver was arrested while traveling in Spain. This prosecution never should have been brought,” said Bryan Skarlatos, Ver’s attorney, in a statement to CNBC.

“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,” he added.

If found guilty, Ver could face a return to federal prison, reminiscent of his 10-month incarceration in 2002 after he admitted to selling explosives under the name “Pest Control Report 2000” on eBay.

The report points out that the IRS has enhanced its techniques to monitor bitcoin investors as the currency has become more prevalent.

The indictment notes that the IRS utilized a method known as “clustering analysis” to examine the blockchain and pinpoint Ver’s bitcoin transactions.

Ver amassed his first million dollars from bitcoin in 2011, the same year he began trading it.

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