Tech billionaire and bitcoin booster Michael Saylor evaded more than $25 million in Washington, DC income taxes by falsely claiming to live elsewhere, according to a tax fraud lawsuit filed Wednesday by the District’s attorney general.
Saylor’s company, the software firm Microstrategy, conspired with the entrepreneur to help him evade taxes for more than 15 years, according to the lawsuit from Washington’s Attorney General Karl Racine.
“Saylor avoided paying more than $25 million in DC income taxes by claiming to be a Florida or Virginia resident,” Racine’s office said in a statement. “He has publicly called the District’s Georgetown neighborhood home since about 2005.”
Saylor lives in a 7,000-square-foot Georgetown penthouse and has docked at least two of his yachts in the city for “long periods of time” despite claiming not to live there, Racine’s office said.
Microstrategy stock tanked 7% on the news, trading at around $223.40 on Wednesday afternoon. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Saylor — whose Twitter account has more than 2.6 million followers and lists his location as Miami Beach — has cultivated a cult following among die-hard fans of bitcoin.
He founded Microstrategy in 1989, but turned the company into a “meme stock” starting in August 2020 when he invested $250 million of its cash reserves into bitcoin during the cryptocurrency boom.
According to the attorney general’s suit, Microstrategy knew that Saylor lived in Washington but helped him evade taxes.
“MicroStrategy had multiple sources of information regarding Saylor’s true location and residency, but that the company actively conspired with Saylor to enable his fraud, including by filing inaccurate W-2s with the address of his property in Florida rather than his home in DC, and by failing to withhold and remit DC taxes,” the attorney general’s office said.
Racine’s office added that they could recover a total of more than $100 million in unpaid income taxes and penalties from Saylor and Microstrategy.