Jun 3, 2024 - News

Michael Saylor to settle D.C. tax fraud case for $40 million

Michael Saylor photographed

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Crypto billionaire Michael Saylor and the tech company he co-founded, MicroStrategy, will pay $40 million to settle tax fraud allegations in D.C.

Why it matters: It's the largest income tax fraud recovery in city history, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb announced on Monday.

Zoom in: D.C. alleged that Saylor dodged city income taxes by claiming he lived in Virginia or Florida while owning a lavish Georgetown penthouse. Schwalb's office had claimed Saylor owed over $25 million in income taxes between 2005 and 2020.

  • Whistleblowers alleged Saylor "openly bragged to friends and acquaintances about evading D.C. taxes," per Schwalb's office.
  • The alleged scheme involved MicroStrategy issuing false statements on his W-2s.

What they're saying: "This precedent-setting settlement makes clear that no one in the District of Columbia, no matter how wealthy or powerful they may be, is above the law," Schwalb said.

The other side: Saylor maintains he moved to Florida in 2012.

  • "I continue to dispute the allegation that I was ever a resident of the District of Columbia," he said in a statement to the Washington Post. "I have agreed to settle this matter to avoid the continued burdens of the litigation on friends, family, and myself."
  • MicroStrategy told Axios in a statement, "This was a personal tax matter involving Mr. Saylor."

Catch up fast: Saylor earned a tech playboy reputation in Washington, throwing lavish parties and collecting new yachts.

  • In recent years, he turned the Tysons-based MicroStrategy into a cult vessel for investing in bitcoin, buying up the cryptocurrency since 2020.
  • Saylor's fortunes looked better last year, when D.C.'s tax case appeared stalled. A judge had dismissed part of the lawsuit in March 2023.
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