Israel’s tax authority is after two creators of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) suspected of failing to report almost $2.2 million in revenue. The news of the investigation comes after the recent arrest of a graphic designer from Tel Aviv accused of similar offenses.
Israel Tax Authority is investigating two NFT creators in Jerusalem who did not report millions of U.S. dollars in revenue received from the sale of their digital works. The tokens they offered were based on a 3D scan of the stones of the Western Wall.
The suspects, Avraham Cohen and Antony Polak, own the Holyrocknft.com website through which they sold their NFTs.The platform claims to combine the business world and technological progress with Jewish faith and spirit.
Investigators were able to establish that since 2021 the two Israelis sold 1,700 digital works for 620 ETH. At rates at the time of transactions, the total was worth around 8 million shekels (or close to $2.2 million). Tax officials view these revenues as business earnings, but the pair did not report them as such.
A portion of the funds has been transferred between different wallets, which raised additional suspicions of criminal activity. Nevertheless, a judge in a Jerusalem court released the suspects under certain conditions, including handing over control of the ether wallets.
A week ago, a graphic designer from Tel Aviv, who was creating tokenized digital art, was arrested for not reporting revenues of 3 million shekels from his sales on the NFT marketplace Opensea, as well as the conversion of 30 Ethereum-based tokens he had received as payments into other currencies.
Crypto assets in Israel are yet to be comprehensively regulated. The country’s public stock exchange recently proposed rules allowing some clients to trade them, and the Bank of Israel published recommendations for regulating and supervising stablecoin-related activities.