‘Bitcoin Jesus,’ One of the World's First Cryptocurrency Millionaires, Is Arrested in Spain for Tax Evasion

  • Roger Ver, one of the first prominent Bitcoin investors, was arrested in Spain for U.S. tax evasion.

  • Ver was the CEO of Bitcoin.com. In 2014, his estimated fortune was 131,000 BTC, or roughly $114 million.

Roger Ver, also known as 'Bitcon Jesus'
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Crypto bros aren't having the best time lately. Last week, a U.S. federal court sentenced Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who is also known as "CZ," to prison. The same day, Roger Ver, a major cryptocurrency investor and former Bitcoin.com CEO, was arrested for tax fraud.

Ver was born in San Jose, California, but currently lives in Japan. In 2011, he was one of the world's first recognized cryptocurrency investors, with his company, MemoryDealers, being a pioneer in accepting Bitcoin payments. Ver is also one of the five founders of the Bitcoin Foundation and is currently one of the main drivers of Bitcoin Cash. His investments and extensive trajectory in the space have earned him the name "Bitcoin Jesus." 

International authorities arrested ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ in Spain in late April. The U.S. Department of Justice has accused Ver him of failing to pay more than $48 million dollars in taxes, according to Reuters.

Although Ver's arrest is recent, his problems with the law aren't new. In 2014, the investor renounced his American citizenship, which many saw as a suspicious move. According to his lawyer, Bryan Skarlatos, Ver intends to comply with all legal obligations. That wasn't enough to satisfy U.S. authorities, who ordered his arrest in Spain.

Ver’s net worth was estimated to be 131,000 BTC, about $114 million, in 2014. Today, that amount of Bitcoin is worth roughly $8.3 billion.

Ver’s tax fraud is linked to the sale of MemoryDealers.com and Agilestar.com, two companies that he held for about 70,000 BTC in 2017 and sold for about $240 million. According to the Department of Justice, "Bitcoin Jesus" did not pay the corresponding fees for selling these two companies, or about $48 million, between 2014 and 2017.

The investor is in custody and currently awaiting pending trial. According to Reuters, the U.S. plans to request Ver's extradition to judge him in American soil, which is where they argue he should have paid the taxes.

Image | Roger Ver

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