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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John McAfee, a computer programmer best known for his anti-virus software, has been indicted on federal tax evasion charges after allegedly hiding assets from the IRS, including real property, a vehicle, and a yacht, the Department of Justice said Monday. McAfee, the founder of McAfee Associates, has been charged with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns, according to an unsealed June indictment following his arrest in Spain. Prosecutors allege McAfee earned millions of dollars from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting, speaking engagements, and selling his life story for a documentary—but failed to file tax returns from 2014 and 2018. To avoid tax liability, McAfee allegedly directed his income to several bank accounts and cryptocurrency accounts and bought several items, including real estate, a yacht, and a car. The indictment, however, does not allege McAfee received any income from the anti-virus company he once founded.
The announcement comes just hours after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued McAfee for allegedly making over $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation by recommending seven cryptocurrency offerings on Twitter that were false or misleading. “Potential investors in digital asset securities are entitled to know if promoters were compensated by the issuers of those securities,” Kristina Littman, Cyber Unit Chief said in a statement, adding that McAfee “allegedly leveraged his fame to deceptively tout numerous digital asset securities to his followers without informing investors of his role as a paid promoter.”
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John McAfee, the controversial software entrepreneur, has been arrested in Spain on US charges that he evaded taxes on millions of dollars he earned from activities such as touting cryptocurrencies.
The US Department of Justice announced the criminal charges on Monday and said the extradition of Mr McAfee from Spain was pending. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed parallel civil charges.
Mr McAfee, who founded the antivirus software company that bears his name, hid millions of dollars of income from US tax authorities — including from promoting cryptocurrencies and selling the rights to his life story, according to the justice department.
He used bank and cryptocurrency accounts in the names of others to hide income earned between 2014 and 2018, prosecutors alleged. Assets he bought, including a yacht, were similarly held in the names of nominees to evade paying taxes, according to the criminal indictment.
Mr McAfee was a highly successful software innovator a decade ago when he sold McAfee to Intel for $7.6bn. But he went on the run after the 2012 murder of his neighbour in Belize.
He fled to neighbouring Guatemala and was later deported to the US. Mr McAfee was ultimately never charged in connection with the Belize case.
In 2019, Mr McAfee said he had fled the US on his yacht because he was facing criminal tax charges. In an interview with Agence France-Presse in Cuba in July that year, he said: “I have not paid taxes for eight years. I will not pay taxes again — it is unconstitutional and illegal.”
The justice department said on Monday that he had failed to file five years of tax returns between 2014 and 2018. The indictment against Mr McAfee had been filed in June but had remained under seal until his arrest.
The civil charges filed