A Latvian NFT artist could spend 12 years in prison for "money laundering"

Ilya Borisov, a developer and artist from Latvia, is facing up to 12 years in prison after authorities said that his €8.7 million non-fungible tokens (NFTs) earnings were the large-scale proceeds of money laundering and criminality.

Borisov described how the government had frozen his bank accounts without informing him of the situation on his website Art is Crime.

The developer who received the money from 3,557 NFT releases noted in the case chronology that although the court processes began this year in February, he wasn't made aware of them until May 9.

"This ruling states that I should receive a copy of it; it was issued on February 10." Three months later, I got it, " Borisov remarked.

The developer claimed that he approached the Latvian State Revenue Service (VID) about how to legitimate his bitcoin revenue because there aren't any clear crypto tax regulations. As a result, over the course of 2021, he had to pay €2.2 million in income taxes.

He paid the taxes after being urged by the organization to declare himself a "self-employed person" and pay taxes on the euros withdrew.

He made money during the NFT boom of 2021 and identified himself as one of the successful musicians in the market, which is notable.

Through the assistance of his attorney, Borisov was able to contest the freezing of his bank account, and on June 30 the court issued orders allowing him to access the money.

The account, however, was never unfrozen, and it was later discovered that the case's lead investigator had left. It's interesting to note that the newly appointed prosecutors also secured urgent warrants to take his possessions.

As of July 19, he asserted that he had given the authorities a thorough account of his activities and earnings history as evidence of the money's legitimate source.

Borisov, a former worker for the news website Meduza, emphasized that no prosecutor has attempted to get in touch with him about the case. The developer has already appealed the ruling, but he expects further delays as a result of the cumbersome system.

Borisov attempted to have the investigator replaced in the case, but the court rejected his request.

Borisov claimed that the case has affected him emotionally, which has been made more difficult by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in addition to the possibility of permanently losing his money and going to jail.

His father's demise before a solution was reached had an impact on his connection with other family members as well.

The blockchain had created limitless chances for artists to make a living, but they were still facing obstacles from authorities, according to Borisov, who pledged to keep battling.

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