‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver Arrested in Spain for Mail Fraud and Tax Evasion

By Aaron Feuerstein May 01, 2024 In Bitcoin Cash, Crime, Spain
Bitcoins behind prison bars
  • Roger Ver, early Bitcoin advocate turned Bitcoin Cash promoter, was arrested in Spain for multiple charges including mail fraud and tax evasion.
  • His legal troubles stem from failing to properly report capital gains and income from Bitcoin transactions, resulting in a US$48 million loss to the IRS.
  • Known as ‘Bitcoin Jesus’, Ver shifted his allegiance to Bitcoin Cash in 2018, advocating for changes to enhance Bitcoin’s transaction capabilities.

Ver in the world was Bitcoin Cash supporter Roger Ver? Turns out, the man also known as Bitcoin Jesus was laying low in Spain, where authorities arrested him over the weekend. Roger Ver – early Bitcoin investor turned BTC Cash advocate – is now likely to face extradition to the United States.

Related: “Sell in May and Go Away” – Is It Time for Bitcoin to Take a Break?

The former Santa Clara, California resident is facing charges of mail fraud, tax evasion, as well as filing false tax returns according to a press release by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

The charges stem from his activities with his companies, MemoryDealers.com and Agilestar.com, which began acquiring significant amounts of Bitcoin starting in 2011. In 2014, Ver obtained citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis, renounced his US citizenship, and allegedly failed to correctly file tax returns accounting for capital gains from his assets, including about 131,000 Bitcoins.


This miscalculation and underreporting are said to have led to a significant underestimation of taxes due, specifically an “exit tax”. Despite relinquishing his US citizenship, Ver still had tax obligations tied to his US-based companies. He is accused of not reporting income or gains from these assets, which later amounted to sales of around US$240 million (AU$370 million) in Bitcoin in 2017.

The total alleged loss to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the national tax authority, is at least US$48 million (AU$74 million). The DOJ added:

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

US Department of Justice

Bitcoin Jesus and BTC Cash

Ver bought Bitcoin when it was still under a Dollar and invested millions in early crypto start-ups such as Ripple, BitPay, Kraken and Blockchain.com.

He received the moniker “Bitcoin Jesus” for his early and fervent advocacy of Bitcoin. Ver shifted his support to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) around 2018, believing it aligns more closely with Bitcoin’s original principles.

Despite his initial enthusiasm for Bitcoin, by 2017, Ver expressed serious concerns about its future, criticising the excessive speculative interest and what he saw as developers compromising its utility as currency.

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He advocated for a hard fork to increase block size limits, aiming to enhance Bitcoin’s utility for transactions and reduce fees, though this stance faced opposition for potentially undermining Bitcoin’s decentralisation and altering transaction processes.

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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