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‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Arrested, Charged With $48M Tax Fraud

The US Department of Justice has charged Roger Ver, AKA Bitcoin Jesus, with $48 million tax fraud after he allegedly failed to report a portion of his 131,000 BTC

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Roger Ver, AKA Bitcoin Jesus, has been arrested and charged for evading at least $48 million in taxes.

The US Department of Justice filed criminal tax fraud charges against Ver, claiming that the Bitcoin maxi failed to report a portion of 131,000 BTC that he owned in 2014 when he renounced his US citizenship for one in the Caribbean country of St. Kitts and Nevis.

"Ver and his companies allegedly owned approximately 131,000 bitcoins that traded on several large exchanges for around $871 each. MemoryDealers and Agilestar allegedly held approximately 73,000 of those bitcoins," the Department stated.

Memorydealers was started by Ver during his time in college. The firm resold Cisco-related memory and networking equipment, transceivers, and accessories. He resigned as CEO in 2012 and ended his relationship with the firm in 2018.

He founded Agilestar in 2004 and ran it until 2018. The company became a global frontrunner in optical transceivers utilized by Fortune 100 corporations worldwide.

The Department explained that Ver was required to file tax returns and disclose capital gains on the sale of his global assets as a result of his expatriation. Additionally, he was purportedly obligated to pay an "exit tax" on these capital gains.

Ver was arrested in Spain over the weekend. The United States is seeking his extradition to stand trial on eight charges concerning 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,” Bryan Skarlatos, a lawyer for Ver, told 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.”

Ver, who earned his Biblically-inspired moniker after purchasing thousands of Bitcoins in 2011, earned his first million from the crypto asset in the same year. He also spent 10 months in prison in 2002 for pleading guilty to selling explosives called “Pest Control Report 2000” on eBay.