DC sues billionaire Michael Saylor over $25 million in taxes

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has announced a tax fraud lawsuit against Michael Saylor, founder and chairman of Tysons-based technology company MicroStrategy.

MicroStrategy has also been named in the suit, and is accused of conspiring to assist Saylor in evading income taxes in the District.

The lawsuit alleges Saylor illegally evaded more than $25 million in District taxes over the course of 15 years by claiming to be a Florida resident when in fact he resided full-time in Georgetown. Saylor owns a 7,000-square-foot penthouse on the Georgetown waterfront.

It is the first lawsuit filed under the authority of the District’s newly-passed False Claims Act, which encourages whistleblowers to report D.C. residents evading taxes by misrepresenting their residence. The law also permits a court to fine a proven tax evader three times the amount of the taxes they evaded.

On Wednesday, a whistleblower’s report that was originally filed under seal in April 2021 was unsealed.

The complaint alleges that, since at least 2012, Saylor has openly bragged to confidants about creating the illusion of residing in Florida in order to avoid D.C.’s personal income tax. Floridians do not pay state income taxes.

Among evidence cited was location-specific social medial posts and FAA flight information showing when his company’s private jet left and returned to the District.

Forbes estimates Saylor’s net worth to be $1.6 billion.

An emailed request for comment to MicroStrategy’s investor relations department was not immediately answered.

A copy of the District’s complaint against Saylor and MicroStrategy has been posted online.

Saylor resigned as the company’s CEO earlier this month to focus on increasing the company’s bitcoin investments after it reported a $1 billion second-quarter loss on the recent plunge in the prices of cryptocurrencies.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up