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Crypto: Give Unto Caesar What Is Caesar’s

Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) brought USA v. Ahlgren, its first crypto case with tax evasion allegations unrelated to another crime (which we discussed here), demonstrating the DOJ’s willingness to pursue stand-alone crypto tax fraud cases. On April 30, 2024, the DOJ announced the unsealing of an indictment in a similar case, this time charging early bitcoin investor Roger Ver with mail fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns.

According to the indictment, Ver (also known as “Bitcoin Jesus”) purportedly renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2014. To assist him with his expatriation, Ver allegedly hired advisors to whom he provided false information regarding the ownership and value of approximately 131,000 bitcoins held by himself and his companies, allegedly resulting in the preparation and filing of false expatriation-related tax returns. After his expatriation, Ver also purportedly failed to pay tax on $240 million in distributions of bitcoins made by his companies to him in 2017.

Cases such as Ahlgren and USA v. Ver signal the DOJ’s commitment to prosecuting crypto tax evasion and suggest that crypto investors may wish to consider taking another look at their reporting and filing obligations.

Key Contacts

Adam Blakemore
T. +44 (0) 20 7170 8697

Linda Z. Swartz
T. +1 212 504 6062

Jon Brose
T. +1 212 504 6376

Andrew Carlon
T. +1 212 504 6378

Mark P. Howe
T. +1 202 862 2236

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