Bitcoin Bull Michael Saylor Loses Bid to Dismiss Tax Evasion Lawsuit

A separate claim brought against Saylor and MicroStrategy accusing the company and its executive chairman of conspiring to violate the district’s False Claims Act, has been dismissed

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Source: Shutterstock / JHVEPhoto, modified by Blockworks

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Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy’s co-founder and executive chairman, has lost a bid to dismiss a lawsuit alleging he failed to pay income tax during his 10-year residency in Washington, D.C.

The Superior Court of the District of Columbia ruled against the co-founder and executive chairman, known for being the largest corporate buyer of bitcoin, late last month, according to an SEC filing on Wednesday.

The unresolved tax issue could raise further concerns for MicroStrategy and its shareholders, as the outcome of the case may have ramifications on the company’s reputation and financial stability.

MicroStrategy stock traded 2% lower on Thursday to $252.89, Nasdaq exchange data shows.

A separate claim brought against Saylor and MicroStrategy accusing the company and its executive chairman of conspiring to violate the district’s False Claims Act, has been dismissed. 

Saylor stands accused of evading over $25 million by the attorney general’s office, which is seeking damages, civil penalties, back taxes and fees. 

Saylor told Blockworks he continues to respectfully disagree with the District’s position and will continue to defend against those claims.

“I look forward to an appropriate resolution of this case in due course,” he said.

Last August, the District of Columbia sued Saylor and his company, alleging that he had not paid any income taxes in the district for over ten years and that MicroStrategy had conspired to help him do so. 

The recent court ruling has serious implications for Saylor, who has been a vocal supporter of Bitcoin and made headlines for his large investments throughout the last three years.

In 2020, the company announced that it had bought $425 million worth of bitcoin to hold as a reserve asset on its balance sheet and has since added to that position. As of March 2023, MicroStrategy held over 132,500 BTC, worth some $2.96 billion.

Saylor stepped down from his long-running role as MicroStrategy’s chief executive on Aug. 3 of last year, becoming the company’s executive chairman — a move that allowed him to focus more on the firm’s bitcoin acquisition strategy. 

Saylor had served as CEO and chairman of MicroStrategy’s board since founding the company in 1989 and took it public in 1998. Phong Le took over as CEO a week after Saylor stepped down.

The case against the MicroStrategy executive for tax evasion will now proceed, with a status conference scheduled for next week.


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