Bitcoin Patron Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy Face US Lawsuit Over Tax Fraud Allegations

One of Bitcoin's biggest whales has some legal trouble to contend with.

Bitcoin Patron Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy Face US Lawsuit Over Tax Fraud Allegations

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Saylor has avoided paying taxes in DC for years, according to the attorney general

  • Saylor allegedly conspired with the company to commit tax evasion
  • The lawsuit calls for more than $25 million in back-taxes, penalties
  • Saylor stepped aside as MicroStrategy CEO earlier in August

Michael Saylor and the company he founded, MicroStrategy, are staring at legal action in Washington, D.C. over tax fraud, per an announcement from D.C. Attorney General, Karl Racine. The complaint alleges that Saylor knowingly avoided income taxes to the state of Washington D.C. by fraudulently claiming to be a resident of a lower tax jurisdiction while maintaining his residence in D.C. Additionally, the complaint alleges that cloud software company MicroStrategy conspired with Saylor by intentionally obfuscating his real address to local and federal tax authorities.

In its complaint, the Attorney General's office alleges that Saylor "fraudulently purported" to be a resident of either Florida or Virginia in order to take advantage of substantially lower tax rates. However, his Facebook posts, which are included in the complaint, prove that he maintained his domicile in Washington, D.C.

The billionaire allegedly bragged to his confidants about masquerading as a Florida resident in order to avoid paying taxes in the District of Columbia. He registered to vote in Florida and obtained a driver's license there despite not abandoning the district as his domicile.

This lawsuit is the first such litigation brought under the authority of the District's recently passed False Claims Act, Racine tweeted. The office is looking to recover what could amount to more than $100 million (roughly Rs. 798 crore) in unpaid income taxes and penalties from Saylor and MicroStrategy.

MicroStrategy holds the largest number of Bitcoin among public companies — holding 1,29,699 BTC as of June 30, worth about $2.6 billion (roughly Rs. 20,765 crore). Saylor, meanwhile, is also a known vocal supporter of the industry.

The development comes after Saylor stepped aside as MicroStrategy's CEO in early August but remained chairman of the board; he also assumed a substantive executive position focusing on “Bitcoin acquisition strategy and related Bitcoin advocacy initiatives.”

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