Latvian NFT artist’s €8.7 million earnings seized, might face 12 years life imprisonment


  • Though Ilya Borisov has detailed his side of the story, if proven guilty, he will face imprisonment of 12 years.
  • Borisov, through his called Art is Crime, shared that his accounts were frozen without notifying him about the matter.
  • The artist said that though blockchain has infinite opportunities for artists, challenges come up from the end of the regulator.

NFT artist Ilya Borisov has got into trouble as his earnings of approximately €8.7 million have been frozen by the Latvian government. Accused of money laundering, Borisov might end up facing imprisonment of 12 years if found guilty.

A case against him was filed by the authorities in February 2022; however, he was informed about the same in May, as told by Borisov. This is what he said:

This decision was issued on February 10, it says that I should get a copy of it. I received it three months later. 

Borisov also mentioned writing to the Latvian State Revenue Service (VID) to pay his due taxes, as there’s no clarity regarding regulations on crypto taxations in Latvia.

According to him, he was advised by the agency to register as a self-employed individual and pay taxes on the amount that’s withdrawn in Euros. Following the same, he paid a tax of over €2.2 million in the last year. 

He further said that the amount being questioned, i.e. €8.7 million was earned by him upon selling 3,557 NFT releases in 2021 when the NFT market was doing well. 

Borisov, through his lawyer, challenged the action in court and the court granted him the order to access the money on June 30.

However, the authorities still didn’t allow him to access his accounts. Moreover the principal investigator of the case has resigned and the new prosecutors had immediate orders to seize his property. 

In his statement, Borisov said that he filed a protest against the decision of his accounts being seized on July 3, 2022. The protest had all the documents related to the case as well as files along with all his transactions and activities being an artist. 

Unhappy with the whole situation, he said that the government’s decision is challenging and being an artist in Latvia is similar to committing a crime.