Anti-Virus Software Guru John McAfee Arrested in Spain on U.S. Tax Evasion Charges

John McAfee

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, the statement says.

McAfee could also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

It is unclear who McAfee has retained as an attorney to comment on his behalf.

He has not commented publicly on the charges.

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