John McAfee arrested on US tax evasion charges

Anti-virus veteran allegedly made millions promoting cryptocurrencies, but failed to file tax returns.

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Anti-virus veteran John McAfee has been arrested in Spain on US tax evasion charges.

McAfee, who founded the anti-virus company of the same name but has had nothing to do with it since the 1990s, has kept in the news in recent years by…

…disguising himself as a Guatemalan trinket salesman while on the run from the Belize police who wanted to question him about a murder

…claiming he ran a team of 23 women to seduce and spy on his enemies in Belize…

…trying (and failing) to be chosen as a US Presidential candidate in 2016

…saying he would socially engineer a corpse to find out an iPhone passcode… and much more besides.

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In recent years, however, he seems to have put a lot of effort into promoting cryptocurrencies and ICOs on Twitter.

And that seems to have got John McAfee into a little bit of bother with the US Department of Justice, who today unsealed an indictment against him.

According to the indictment, McAfee earned millions promoting cryptocurrencies, giving talks, and even selling his life-story rights to documentary makers. However, the authorities claim that between 2014 and 2018, McAfee failed to file tax returns related to these earnings.

More details of the alleged tax evasion can be found in a 55-page complaint filed by the SEC:

John McAfee is currently being held at an undisclosed location in Spain.

One presumes the American authorities intend to extradite McAfee back to US soil. If convicted, he faces up to 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.

It’s the just the latest chapter in the entirely barmy life of John McAfee.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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