June 20, 2024
Bitcoin

‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver Released on Bail in Spain


Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Roger Ver, also known as “Bitcoin Jesus,” has been released on bail in Spain after posting a €150,000 bail.

According to a Bloomberg report, Ver was permitted to leave jail May 17, on condition that he hand in his passport and remain in Spain pending a decision on his extradition to the U.S., where he faces $50 million tax evasion charges. Ver must also report to court every two days.

Ver was arrested by Spanish authorities in April, after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed an indictment alleging that he had evaded paying almost $50 million in taxes, in addition to charges of mail fraud and filing false tax returns.

In the indictment, the DOJ alleges that after Ver renounced his U.S. citizenship and obtained citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis, he failed to report capital gains or pay taxes on his holdings of 131,000 BTC.

Ver is accused of providing false or misleading information to the law firm and appraiser who prepared tax returns relating to his expatriation, undervaluing two of his companies that held 73,000 of his BTC holdings and failing to report his personal holdings.

In November 2017, Ver sold “tens of thousands” of Bitcoin for around $240 million in cash—sales that he was legally required to report to the IRS, along with his receipt of Bitcoin from the two firms.

“In total, Ver is alleged to have caused a loss to the IRS of at least $48 million,” the indictment read.

Who is Roger Ver?

Ver, an outspoken libertarian, was an early adopter and Bitcoin evangelist, earning his nickname “Bitcoin Jesus” for giving away the cryptocurrency for free.

He subsequently shifted his attention to Bitcoin Cash, a hard fork of the original cryptocurrency, which he maintains is the “truest representation of Satoshi’s vision.”

Ver has had run-ins with the law before; in 2002, he was sentenced to 10 months in jail for selling explosives on eBay.

In a 2019 talk, he argued that, “It’s the law breakers that move society forward,” adding that, “If it wasn’t for people who break the law, we’d still have slavery. We’d still have people sitting at the back of the bus. The people who have the courage to break the law, have the ability to make the world a better place.”



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