By Evan Spicer
Director of Cryptocurrency Investigations
Most of us have heard of Andrew Tate. In fact, he is one of the most infamous people on the planet. The former kickboxer, highly controversial social influencer and founder of Hustler University is sitting in a Romanian jail on charges of sexual assault and running a vast human trafficking operation. That isn’t all – another feather in his criminal cap may be bitcoin tax evasion.
Andrew Tate may very well have all the markings of a bitcoin scam artist. He is known for saying the quiet parts out loud and openly boasted about moving to Romania because he felt the laws against prostitution there were relatively lax (he has now found out that there are penalties in Romania for such crimes).
Similarly, Tate also crowed about how easy it was to make tax-free profits accepting only bitcoin. In fact, in some recordings, it isn’t clear whether Andrew Tate truly believed that profits from bitcoin weren’t taxed as income or capital gains or whether he thought he was just getting away with it.
Money for Nothing
Tate boasted online about running a $ 650,000-a-month webcam business using 75 sex workers around the globe. He said he preferred the sex webcam platform Chaturbate because it provides the option of paying the sex workers and accepting payments from their customers in cryptocurrency.
With great relish, Tate described this as the best way to run a business without having to deal with traditional bank accounts and incur tax penalties. Again, it’s unclear whether Tate was unaware of the tax requirement or whether he was trying to trick people into believing there is none.
In another context, Tate boasted about taking more than 50% of his sex workers’ wages by telling them that, as their employer, he was withholding a certain amount for taxes. He then ridiculed the women as gullible for believing that bitcoin required tax (or that he had any intention of paying taxes).
Lest we be persuaded by anything Andrew Tate says, according to the current Internal Revenue Service guidelines, payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are taxable income.
The Romanian Government Cracks Down on Bitcoin Scams
If he thought living in Romania would make him safer from tax investigation, Tate was sorely mistaken. Although Tate hasn’t been charged with tax evasion yet, it seems likely to be added to his list of charges.
The Romanian government is cracking down on people hiding taxable funds in cryptocurrency wallets. These raids led the authorities to yet more suspected wrongdoing by Andrew Tate. It came to light that, between 2019 and 2022, 19 individuals, including Andrew Tate were involved in a conspiracy to hide at least $650,000 in cryptocurrency. In addition, Tate’s name came up among a group of people suspected of hiding €131 million from the tax authorities.
If Tate is charged with tax fraud in addition to his other alleged crimes, it will send a clear signal to bitcoin scams and people who try to use cryptocurrency to evade taxes. It will also demonstrate that governments around the world are committed to going after bitcoin scams and holding those with ill-gotten gains responsible for their actions.
If You’ve Lost Money to a Bitcoin Scam, Contact MyChargeBack
It’s important not to give up if you are a victim of online fraud, but to seek recourse immediately. MyChargeBack has developed working relationships with law enforcement agencies worldwide, has extensive knowledge and experience with crypto tracking, and can improve your prospects of getting your funds back.