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

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

Many within the community criticized the arrest, while a minority justified it due to Ver’s adoption of an anti-Bitcoin stance in the latter part of his career.

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

Source: Dan Held 

Crypto-centered X account Pledditor suspected that Roger Ver’s arrest is related to his name popping up in several investigations such as Binance, Genesis, and 3AC.

Numerous cryptocurrency veterans denounced the U.S. Department of Justice 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 U.S. DOJ notice alleged that Ver evaded taxes worth $48 million on his Bitcoin and crypto sales in 2017. Ver now faces extradition to the U.S.

The arrest of Ver prompted several crypto veterans to call out the U.S. law enforcement agencies for their misuse of power. Social media crypto users were quick to point out that Ver renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2014, and the changes of tax evasion were for the sale of 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 at 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.”

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Jane Adams, a 2024 U.S. House Candidate 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 advocated for press freedom and was 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 noted that the Biden administration is trying to push through a lot of anti-cryptocurrency enforcements and regulations before the elections in November.

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