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“Bitcoin Jesus” Roger Ver Faces Allegations of $50 Million Tax Evasion Scheme

Despite Renouncing US Citizenship, Ver Arrested in Spain, Extradition Looms

A case of alleged tax evasion involving Roger Ver, widely recognized as “Bitcoin Jesus,” has surfaced, revealing accusations totaling nearly $50 million. Ver, a prominent early investor in bitcoin, faces charges including mail fraud, tax evasion, and filing false tax returns, as detailed in an unsealed indictment. Following his recent arrest in Spain, extradition proceedings have been initiated to bring him to trial in the United States.

The indictment sheds light on Ver’s ownership of companies specializing in computer and networking equipment, as well as his accumulation of bitcoins dating back to 2011. His fervent advocacy for bitcoins earned him the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus.”

In 2014, Ver allegedly renounced his U.S. citizenship after obtaining citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis, triggering U.S. tax obligations. However, he purportedly failed to report assets such as bitcoins and pay the required taxes upon expatriation. Allegedly, Ver provided misleading information to legal counsel and an appraiser, resulting in undervalued tax returns for both his companies and personal assets.

Despite no longer holding U.S. citizenship, Ver allegedly neglected to report and pay taxes on significant bitcoin sales in 2017, compounding the accusations of tax evasion. The indictment suggests that Ver’s actions led to an estimated loss of $48 million for the IRS.

The announcement of these developments came from Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada for the Central District of California. The IRS Criminal Investigation’s cybercrimes unit is spearheading the case, with prosecution led by Assistant Chief Matthew J. Kluge, Trial Attorney Peter J. Anthony of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney James C. Hughes for the Central District of California.

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