John McAfee Arrested in Spain, and U.S. Seeks Extradition
John David McAfee, an antivirus software program pioneer who fled Belize in 2012 forward of a homicide investigation there, has been arrested in Spain on tax evasion costs, the U.S. Justice Division stated on Monday.
Mr. McAfee, 75, is a Silicon Valley legend who earned tens of millions from the pc virus-fighting software program firm that also bears his surname. In 2012, he disappeared from his dwelling in Belize after the native police sought him for questioning over the demise of his neighbor.
He resurfaced in Guatemala Metropolis a couple of weeks later, then largely dropped out of the general public eye for years — till 2016, when he tried to run as a Libertarian candidate for president of america.
The Justice Division stated on Monday that Mr. McAfee’s extradition from Spain to america was “pending.” It didn’t present a timeline, and Mr. McAfee couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Tuesday.
Prosecutors accused Mr. McAfee of failing to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, at the same time as he earned tens of millions from “selling cryptocurrencies, consulting work, talking engagements, and promoting the rights to his life story for a documentary,” in line with a June indictment within the U.S. court docket in Tennessee that the Justice Division unsealed on Monday.
The indictment stated that Mr. McAfee evaded his tax legal responsibility by accepting funds by means of financial institution accounts and cryptocurrency alternate accounts that had been arrange by others. It additionally stated that he tried to dodge the Inside Income Service by dealing extensively in cryptocurrency and shopping for belongings — together with actual property and a yacht — in different peoples’ names.
Every rely of tax evasion carries a most jail sentence of 5 years, and every tax evasion rely carries a most one yr sentence.
A separate criticism, filed by the Securities and Alternate Fee on Monday within the Southern District of New York in opposition to Mr. McAfee and his bodyguard, Jimmy Gale Watson, offered a couple of extra particulars of the U.S. authorities’s allegations.
It stated that Mr. McAfee had made greater than $23 million from 2017 to 2018 by recommending a number of “preliminary coin choices” — a sort of crowdfunding — to his tons of of tens of millions of Twitter followers, taking part in it off as neutral funding recommendation with out disclosing that he was being paid to take action.
In keeping with the 55-page criticism, Mr. McAfee was paid about half in Bitcoin and half in “Ether,” the digital foreign money of the Ethereum community, a digital cousin of Bitcoin, by the businesses that had been promoting the securities.
McAfee, the software program firm that bears his identify, was as soon as a family identify in pc safety software program. Intel purchased it in 2010 for $7.7 billion, however bought its majority stake six years later to the funding agency TPG. Mr. McAfee has not been related to the corporate because the Nineteen Nineties, and the latest indictment doesn’t counsel that he has had any reference to it since.
In 2012, Mr. McAfee — who was born in Britain and raised in Virginia — was on the middle of a media frenzy surrounding the demise in Belize of a neighbor and compatriot, Gregory Faull.
Mr. McAfee disappeared after the police introduced that he was a “particular person of curiosity” within the investigation however continued to weblog and tweet. He insulted the Belize authorities and police, and stated he had fled as a result of he feared for his life.
A couple of weeks later, he turned up in Guatemala Metropolis, in search of asylum. His lawyer stated he was being persecuted as a result of he had refused to present the authorities in Belize any extra money.
The prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, known as Mr. McAfee “bonkers.”
Mr. McAfee’s hiding spot in Guatemala was revealed inadvertently days later by a reporter and photographer who had interviewed him at his hiding spot, and he was arrested in that nation on immigration costs.
There was little information of Mr. McAfee till 2016, when he introduced that he was operating for president of america as a Libertarian.
“Right here’s to the loopy ones,” he stated in a marketing campaign video, including that neither he nor any of his fellow Libertarian candidates stood any probability of changing into president. (Positive sufficient, he misplaced the get together’s nomination to Gary Johnson.)
Final yr, a Florida court docket ordered Mr. McAfee to pay $25 million after ruling in opposition to him in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Mr. Faull’s property. In response, Mr. McAfee wrote on Twitter that he wouldn’t pay, calling the judgment a part of a “authorized extortion recreation aimed toward America’s rich class.” He additionally stated that he was “by no means suspected of homicide” by the authorities in Belize or elsewhere.
A couple of months later, Reuters reported that Mr. McAfee had arrived in Britain after being detained along with his spouse for getting into the Dominican Republic with firearms on his yacht. The workplace of the Caribbean nation’s lawyer basic “requested him the place he wished to go, and he selected London,” Candido Simon, a lawyer representing Mr. McAfee within the Dominican Republic, advised the information company.
As for his latest whereabouts, his Twitter account, which has 1,000,000 followers, lists his location as “wherever I’m.” The S.E.C. criticism stated on Monday that he “presently resides in an unknown location.”
Final month, Mr. McAfee weighed in on the 2020 presidential election.
“Who am I voting for?” he wrote on Twitter. “No-one. Why would I select one particular person over one other to regulate me? Slave masters are the identical. We’re numbers relatively than folks, no matter the grasp.”
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