A Lativian NFT artist named Ilya Borisov has been accused of money laundering and his NFT earnings of €8.7 million are frozen by the government. Borisov could also face upto 12 years in prison if found guilty.
Borisov said that he earned the above mentioned €8.7 million by selling 3,557 NFT in 2021.
Due to lack of clear crypto regulations in Latvia, he wrote to the Latvian State Revenue Service (VID) on ways he could pay his due taxes.
He was asked to register as a ‘self-employed person’ and pay taxes on the amount withdrawn in euros. He ended up paying upto €2.2 million as tax in 2021 alone.
However, in May of this year he was notified about a case filed against him in February.
“This decision was issued on February 10, it says that I should get a copy of it. I received it three months later,” Borisov said.
All his accounts had been locked and he went on to challenge the action in court.
“We filed a protest with the court against the decision to seize my accounts dated July 3, 2022. The protest was accompanied by all available documents from the case and files with all my transactions and my activities as an artist,” he said.
The court ruled in his favor that the freeze should be reversed. However, the authorities have refused him access to his accounts.
Borisov believes that he is being wronged and describes the Latvian government’s action as a significant challenge facing the crypto space adding that “it’s a crime to be an artist in Latvia.”