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Computer antivirus pioneer John McAfee tweeted last year that he hadn’t filed a tax return in eight years.
It was OK, he explained. He was “done making money.” His “net income is negative.”
“Taxation is illegal,” he said.
Now McAfee has been arrested in Spain on tax evasion charges. The U.S. Justice Department has accused him of failing to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018 despite making millions, according to an indictment unsealed on Monday.
He allegedly made money from “promoting crypto-currencies, consulting work, speaking engagements and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.” His extradition to the U.S. is pending, according to the Justice Department.
Prosecutors said he evaded taxes by directing his income to be paid into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts set up in others’ names, according to the indictment. He also allegedly concealed assets, including real property, a vehicle and a yacht, by putting them in other people’s names.
I have not filed a tax return for 8 years. Why? 1: taxation is illegal. 2: I paid tens of millions already and received Jack Shit in services. 3. I’m done making money. I live off of cash from McAfee Inc. My net income is negative. But i am a prime target for the IRS. Here I am.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) January 3, 2019
He could face up to 30 years in prison and $1.75
John McAfee, the cybersecurity pioneer who created the world’s first commercial anti-virus software, was arrested in Spain and charged with tax evasion, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
The British-born McAfee, 75, is facing extradition to the United States, where he is charged with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns
The entrepreneur’s arrest came after an indictment from June 15, 2020, was unsealed Tuesday.
According to the indictment, McAfee allegedly evaded taxes by directing his income to be paid into the bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts “in the names of nominees,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee.
McAfee earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary, according to the indictment, the statement says.
From 2014 to 2018, McAfee “allegedly failed to file tax returns, despite receiving considerable income from these sources,” it says.
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The indictment “does not allege that during these years McAfee received any income or had any or had any connection with the anti-virus company bearing his name,” the statement says.
McAfee attempted to evade the IRS by concealing assets, including real property, a vehicle, and a yacht, in the names of others, according to the indictment, the statement says.
If convicted, McAfee faces a maximum of five years in prison on each count of tax evasion and a maximum sentence of one year in prison on each count of willful failure to file a tax return,
Antivirus software pioneer John McAfee has been arrested in Spain and is expected to be extradited back to the U.S. on tax evasion charges, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
McAfee, 75, who founded the wildly successful computer anti-virus software company named after him, was arrested in Spain as he tried to board a flight to Istanbul.
A June indictment against McAfee in the U.S. court in Tennessee was unsealed by the Justice Department on Tuesday charging him with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns.
McAfee earned millions of dollars from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary, and from 2014 to 2018 allegedly failed to file tax returns, according to the indictment. None of the income in question is connected with the software company he founded, which McAfee resigned from in 1994.
The indictment also alleges that McAfee evaded his tax liability by routing his income into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts that were set up by other people and attempted to skirt the IRS by placing his assets in other people’s names, including real estate, a vehicle, and a yacht.
He faces five tax evasion counts carrying a sentence of five years in prison or a $250,000 fine and five more counts of willful failure to file a tax return that could result in one year in prison or a $100,000 fine.
In 2012, McAfee went into hiding in Belize when police in the country sought him for questioning in the death of his neighbor. He reappeared in Guatemala City several weeks later.
The legendary Silicon Valley entrepreneur has twice attempted to run for president as a Libertarian Party candidate, first in 2016 and a second time this year.
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Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment on Monday against John David McAfee, creator of the eponymous anti-virus software, over charges that he evaded taxes and willfully failed to file tax returns.
The U.S. Justice Department announced the charges shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed it had brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging that he made over $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation from recommending seven cryptocurrency offerings on Twitter that were materially false and misleading.
The indictment, filed under seal in June, was unsealed following his arrest in Spain where the United States is seeking to extradite him.
He is alleged to have earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, as well as through consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary. Despite this income, the Justice Department said he failed to file any tax returns from 2014 to 2018.
The SEC has alleged that from at least November 2017 through February 2018, McAfee recommended cryptocurrencies he was paid to promote, while falsely denying such payments.
“McAfee leveraged his fame to make more than $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation” by recommending at least seven initial coin offerings or ICOs to his Twitter followers, the SEC said.
McAfee’s recommendations were “materially false and misleading,” in that he tried to sell “virtually worthless” cryptocurrency tokens by encouraging investors to buy the securities without disclosing his own holdings, the SEC alleged.
The SEC is seeking to impose on McAfee a civil penalty as well as disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, with interest. The agency also wants to ban him permanently from serving as an officer or director of any listed company or any company that files reports to the agency.
The SEC is also pursuing charges against Jimmy Gale Watson, Jr., a bodyguard to McAfee, on charges
Memphis, Tennessee — Antivirus software entrepreneur
A June indictment charging McAfee with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns was unsealed in federal court in Memphis on Monday after McAfee’s arrest in Spain, where extradition to the U.S. is pending, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.
Online court records do not show whether McAfee has a lawyer to speak on his behalf about the charges.
McAfee developed early internet security software and has been sought by authorities in the U.S. and Belize in the past.
The indictment said McAfee failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, despite receiving “considerable income” from several sources. The indictment does not allege that McAfee received any income or had any connection with the antivirus software company bearing his name during those years, prosecutors said.
McAfee evaded taxes by directing his income to be paid into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts in the names of others, the indictment said. McAfee hid assets from the Internal Revenue Service, including real estate property, a vehicle and a yacht, in the names of others, prosecutors said.
If convicted of all charges, McAfee could face up to 30 years in prison.
McAfee was released from detention in the Dominican Republic in July 2019 after he and five others were suspected of traveling on a yacht carrying high-caliber