Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy Sued for Tax Fraud

Michael Saylor has been accused of evading tax on hundreds of millions in income over a decade.

MicroStrategy's Bitcoin stack grows.
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • The District of Columbia is suing Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy for alleged tax fraud.
  • D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced the suit on Twitter today, accusing Saylor of avoiding as much as ten years' worth of income taxes.
  • MicroStrategy stock dropped 5% as news of the charges broke.

Share this article

Billionaire Bitcoin whale Michael Saylor is being sued by the District of Columbia, where he currently resides, for tax fraud. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine made the announcement Wednesday on Twitter.

Saylor Faces Tax Fraud Suit

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

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor is facing a lawsuit on tax fraud allegations, Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced Wednesday.

“Today, we’re suing Michael Saylor – a billionaire tech executive who has lived in the District for more than a decade but has never paid any DC income taxes – for tax fraud,” Racine wrote in a tweet.

Racine added that Washington D.C. was also suing MicroStrategy “for conspiring to help [Saylor] evade taxes he legally owes on hundreds of millions of dollars he’s earned while living in DC.”

Michael Saylor is most notable in the crypto space for his ongoing and vocal public support for Bitcoin. He frequently appears on the crypto conference circuits to tout the virtues of the market’s flagship cryptocurrency and encourage attendees to accumulate as much as possible.

In this regard, Saylor puts his money where his mouth is; his company, MicroStrategy, which originated as a business intelligence software company, has pivoted toward a Bitcoin accumulation strategy under Saylor’s leadership. At the beginning of the month, Saylor stepped aside as MicroStrategy’s CEO but remained chairman of the board; he also assumed a substantive executive position focusing on “Bitcoin acquisition strategy and related Bitcoin advocacy initiatives.”

This is not the first time that Saylor and his company have run into trouble with law enforcement. In 2000, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil accounting fraud charges against MicroStrategy for misrepresenting the company’s financial information for two years. That case ended with a settlement that resulted in Saylor personally disgorging $8.2 million and paying an additional $350,000 in penalties.

MicroStrategy shares dropped 6% upon news of the lawsuit.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the authors of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. This story is breaking and will be updated as further details emerge.

Share this article