Crypto billionaire Michael Saylor pays $40M to settle DC tax fraud case

Billionaire bitcoin bull and MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor will pay $40 million to settle a lawsuit alleging he committed massive tax fraud by lying to authorities for years about where he lived, the Washington DC district attorney’s office said Monday.

DC prosecutors have alleged MicroStrategy had helped Saylor to evade more than $25 million in local income taxes from 2005 to 2022 through falsified records and statements.

The tech executive allegedly claimed to live in Florida or Virginia despite residing in a luxury waterfront penthouse in the capital’s tony Georgetown neighborhood.

Michael Saylor did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement. REUTERS

Prosecutors alleged that he was also “docking multiple yachts on the District’s Potomac riverfront.”

Neither Saylor nor MicroStrategy admitted to any wrongdoing or violations of the law in the settlement, the company said in a filing.

MicroStrategy shares were up 8% to approximately $1,625 per share in early trading Monday.

Saylor, who stepped down as MicroStrategy’s CEO in 2022, “will pay this settlement amount to the district in full and the company will not be obligated to make any contribution to the settlement payment.”

The Post reached out to MicroStrategy for further comment.

“Florida remains my home today, and I continue to dispute the allegation that I was ever a resident of the District of Columbia,” Saylor said in a statement to the New York Times, which first reported the settlement. “I have agreed to settle this matter to avoid the continued burdens of the litigation on friends, family, and myself.”

The DC district attorney’s office asserted that Saylor had spent millions to buy three luxury condo units “with the purpose of combining them into a 7,000 square foot residence overlooking the Potomac River” from 2006 to 2008.

Prosecutors alleged that Saylor lied about living in other states while actually residing in Washington DC. REUTERS

The billionaire purportedly continued living in the district aboard one of his yachts while renovations on his planned residence, dubbed “Trigate,” were underway.

Saylor’s own social media posts were cited in the amended complaint detailing the alleged tax fraud scheme.

In March 2012, Saylor posted a photo on Facebook with the caption “view from my Georgetown balcony this morning.”

A few months later in September 2012, Saylor posted that he was “Gazing wistfully at my future home while I wait for James to crack the whip on the contractors and herd the cats. I wonder if Tony Stark would be so patient….”

The name “James” was a reference to the penthouse’s architect, James Augustus Seymour Van Wynen.

“Now I just need to finish renovating the apartment so I can move back in. For now maybe I pitch a tent outside on the terrace,” Saylor wrote at the time.

MIchael Saylor is known as a major proponent of bitcoin. REUTERS

Saylor’s personal fortune has swelled in recent months alongside a significant surge in the price of bitcoin.

Saylor is worth an estimated $4.8 billion as of Monday, according to Forbes.

“No one in the District of Columbia is above the law, no matter how wealthy or powerful they may be,” Washington DC attorney general Brian Schwalb said in a statement posted on X.

Schwalb described the settlement as the “largest income tax fraud recovery in DC history.”

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button