Crypto veterans call out DOJ for targeting Roger Ver a decade after he left US

The arrest of early Bitcoin investor and Bitcoin cash proponent Roger Ver on tax evasion charges in the United States has invoked strong reactions from the crypto community. 

Many within the community criticized the arrest, with some justifying it over Ver’s adoption of an anti-Bitcoin (BTC) stance in the latter part of his career.

Dan Held, a long-term Bitcoin proponent, was among the few who lauded Ver’s arrest, saying, “he’s been a net negative for Bitcoin.”

Source: Dan Held

Crypto-centered X account Pledditor suspected that Ver’s arrest is related to his name popping up in several investigations, such as those involving Binance, Genesis and Three Arrows Capital.

Numerous cryptocurrency veterans denounced the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for pursuing tax evasion charges against Ver in the U.S. despite his renouncing his citizenship in 2014.

Ver — who has been a Japanese citizen since 2014 — was arrested in Spain on April 30 based on criminal charges in the U.S., which include mail fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns.

The DOJ notice alleges Ver evaded taxes worth $48 million on his Bitcoin and crypto sales in 2017. Ver now faces extradition to the United States.

Ver’s arrest prompted several crypto veterans to call out U.S. law enforcement agencies for their misuse of power. Social media crypto users quickly pointed out that Ver renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2014, and the tax evasion charges were for selling assets in 2017.

Paul Sztorc, founder and CEO of LayerTwo Labs, tweeted that Ver did everything according to law when he first legally left the U.S. for Japan.

Sztorc said Ver paid his taxes in Japan, also paid his taxes in the U.S., and, despite nine years of legally paying his taxes, was arrested in Spain a decade later. He noted the situation is “not exactly government via the consent of the governed.”

Source: Paul Sztorc

Kim Dotcom, a crypto veteran who has also been on the receiving end of government enforcement, said that the indictment against Ver has nothing to do with tax evasion but rather a “witch hunt against a man who turned his back on U.S. wars and malicious foreign and domestic policy.” He added: “Roger is a supporter of Julian Assange and press freedom not just with words but with actions.”

Related: Bitcoin Cash price hiccups amid second-ever halving event

Jane Adams, a 2024 candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and a Bitcoin proponent, said that Ver’s arrest is a blatant attack on dissent. She added that the U.S. government’s pursuit against Ver is fueled by vindictiveness, as he advocates for press freedom and is against U.S. “imperialism.”

A few others speculated Ver’s arrest to be a part of larger crypto targeting by the U.S. government. DavidShares, a Bitcoin proponent on X, said the U.S. is aggressively coming after crypto.

Source: DavidShares

In another post, he stated that the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is trying to push through a lot of anti-cryptocurrency enforcement and regulations before upcoming presidential elections in November.

Magazine: Roger Ver’s next life: Cryonics meets crypto

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