Authorities in Spain have arrested cryptocurrency entrepreneur Roger Ver, once known as "Bitcoin Jesus," after the U.S. Department of Justice charged him with tax evasion.

Unsealed Monday, the indictment alleges that Ver evaded paying taxes to the tune of nearly $50 million, conducted mail fraud, and filed false tax returns.

The DOJ says in its indictment that Ver allegedly lied to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about how much Bitcoin he and his companies really owned. 

According to the feds, Ver was expected to file tax returns that reported capital gains from the sale of his “worldwide assets.” These assets included Bitcoin.


But the indictment alleges that despite Ver and his companies owning 131,000 Bitcoins, the crypto entrepreneur provided or caused to be provided false or misleading information—including the Bitcoin he personally owned—to a law firm and appraiser  helping him expatriate his American nationality. 

When he sold the Bitcoin in 2017, he allegedly did not inform the IRS about the gains he had made, despite the fact that the Bitcoins were held by U.S. corporations he was in charge of—named MemoryDealers and Agilestar.

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


The U.S. will seek Ver’s extradition from Spain for him to stand trial, the DOJ announcement says. 

Ver has been involved in Bitcoin since the early days, when he reportedly would give away the cryptocurrency for free, earning him the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus.”

But he then switched to promoting the hard fork Bitcoin Cash. He has since been trying to grow the spinoff and its community, and claims that it’s the real Bitcoin.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

Editor's note: This story was updated after publication with additional details.

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