Spanish Court Grants Bail To ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver Amid Extradition Requests

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In a significant legal development, Roger Ver, an early investor in Bitcoin, who has been indicted by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on multiple charges, including mail fraud and tax evasion, has been released on bail by a Spanish court amid extradition requests from US authorities. 

 Tax Evasion In Connection With Bitcoin Fortune

According to a Bloomberg report, Ver’s arrest in late April in Spain led to his release on May 17, after posting €150,000 ($163,000) in bail. However, he was required to surrender his passport, remain in Spain, and appear in court every two days. The prosecutor’s subsequent appeal against Ver’s release was rejected two weeks later.

The US DOJ indictment notes that Roger Ver, who earned the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus” for his early advocacy of Bitcoin, is accused of acquiring Bitcoin for himself and his companies as early as 2011, amassing a substantial fortune in the cryptocurrency. 

Ver allegedly failed to report capital gains or pay taxes on his Bitcoin holdings despite selling Bitcoins for approximately €240 million in 2017. The indictment alleges Ver concealed these transactions from his accountant, evading tax obligations.

To complicate matters, Roger Ver renounced his US citizenship in 2014 through eviction, becoming a St. Kitts and Nevis citizen. However, US law still required him to disclose and pay taxes on capital gains from his global assets, including his Bitcoin holdings. 

The indictment also claims that Ver provided false or misleading information to his legal representatives and appraisers, understating the value of his companies and Bitcoin holdings. This resulted in the filing of “false tax returns” that significantly undervalued his assets and evaded substantial tax obligations.

US Authorities Pursue Roger Ver’s Extradition

According to the report, US authorities are actively seeking Ver’s extradition to face tax fraud charges. The Justice Department alleges that Ver failed to pay at least $48 million in taxes from his Bitcoin transactions and that his assets were consequently undervalued. 

Roger Ver’s legal counsel, Jaime Campaner, has stated that Ver has been in contact with US authorities through his Californian lawyers, emphasizing that his arrest seemed unnecessary given his cooperation.

The case against Ver underscores the increasing scrutiny and regulatory measures applied to the cryptocurrency industry.

As digital currencies grow in prominence and value, governments worldwide are stepping up enforcement actions against platforms and key individuals to ensure compliance with tax and financial regulations.

The 1-D chart shows that BTC’s price is trending upward. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

At press time, the largest cryptocurrency on the market, Bitcoin, is currently valued at $70,990, up 6% in the last seven days. 

Featured image from Bloomberg, chart from TradingView.com 



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