Roger Ver Indicted for Tax Fraud

The man sometimes called "Bitcoin Jesus" did not pay capital gains on hundreds of millions of dollars he raised in selling bitcoin in 2017, the DOJ alleged.

AccessTimeIconApr 30, 2024 at 6:52 p.m. UTC
Updated May 1, 2024 at 1:36 p.m. UTC

Roger Ver, now a bitcoin cash (BCH) advocate, but an early bitcoin (BTC) investor, was indicted for tax fraud on Tuesday, a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice said.

The release said Ver was arrested over the weekend in Spain and his extradition back to the U.S. will be sought.

Known as "Bitcoin Jesus," Ver is accused of failing to file tax returns from the sale of assets or paying an "exit tax" on capital gains after he gave up U.S. citizenship and set up businesses and secured citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Ver sold "tens of thousands" of bitcoins in November 2017, taking in $240 million in cash, the DOJ alleged. "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," said the DOJ.

"Ver allegedly concealed from his accountant that he had received and sold MemoryDealers’ and Agilestar’s bitcoins that year," the government continued. "As a result, Ver’s 2017 individual income tax return did not report any gain or pay any tax related to the distribution of MemoryDealers’ and Agilestar’s bitcoins to him."

Ver has previously pleaded guilty and served time for selling explosives on eBay.

A cryptic message was Ver's most-recent post on X, reading: "Don't expect bad people to do good things."

UPDATE (April 30, 2024, 19:17 UTC): Adds a link to the 2002 DOJ press release from Ver's sentence for selling explosives, as well as a line about Ver's most recent X post.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

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