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Bitcoin Pioneer Roger Ver Arrested in Spain on Allegations of $50 Million Tax Fraud

Roger Ver, a well-known figure in the early Bitcoin community and often referred to as “Bitcoin Jesus,” has been arrested in Spain on charges of tax evasion, following an indictment unsealed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ alleges that Ver, an early Bitcoin investor, promoted and acquired significant holdings of Bitcoin since 2011 through personal funds and two companies. Despite renouncing his U.S. citizenship in 2014 and obtaining citizenship from St. Kitts and Nevis, Ver was still required to comply with U.S. tax laws regarding capital gains from his Bitcoin holdings.

Ver reportedly owned approximately 131,000 bitcoins personally and an additional 73,000 through his companies, MemoryDealers.com Inc. and Agilestar.com Inc., both of which were based in the U.S. and subject to U.S. legislation.

The indictment accuses Ver of liquidating thousands of bitcoins in 2017 for approximately $240 million but failing to pay the required capital gains or exit tax, despite no longer being a U.S. citizen. Additionally, he allegedly failed to report certain distributions, such as company dividends, from MemoryDealers and Agilestar.

According to the Justice Department, Ver concealed his accounts from the IRS and withheld proceeds from the 2017 Bitcoin sales, resulting in a tax liability of over $48 million. The U.S. government intends to extradite Ver following his arrest in Europe and prosecute him in the United States.

Ver rose to prominence as a Bitcoin evangelist in the early days of cryptocurrency and later served as CEO of Bitcoin.com, a platform for storing and trading Bitcoin. His arrest marks a significant development in the ongoing legal landscape surrounding cryptocurrency and taxation.

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