Digital Assets: Cyber and Crypto Legend John McAfee Arrested In Spain
Charged with tax evasion, he now faces extradition to the U.S.
Cybersecurity specialist, of McAfee AntiVirus fame, and prominent crypto personality John McAfee was arrested in Spain on charges of alleged tax evasion and fraud. (The Verge)
According to the DOJ’s indictment, McAfee did not file tax returns from 2014 to 2018. However, he raked in millions of dollars from various activities such as consulting, speaking engagements, and cryptocurrencies. He even allegedly sold the rights to his life story for a documentary.
The DOJ alleged that McAfee evaded taxes by receiving payments into bank and cryptocurrency accounts in other people’s names. He allegedly used cryptocurrencies to thwart the IRS from tracking his assets – some of which (such as real estate and a yacht) he held in other people’s names.
If convictions stick, McAfee may have to serve up to 5 years in prison for each of the five counts of tax evasion.
Further, it could be up to one year in prison for each of the five counts of not filing a tax return.
The DOJ’s charges target the individual McAfee, and not at the antivirus company bearing his name.
Mcafee, the antivirus software company, was sold to Intel in 2010 for $ 7.7 billion and thereafter its majority stake passed to investment firm TPG. Apparently, McAfee has not been associated with this company since the 1990s.
Even the SEC has sued the crypto evangelist for failing to disclose that he promoted various initial coin offerings (ICOs) on Twitter in exchange for payments. He allegedly received more than $ 23 million in bitcoin and ether for these services.
McAfee apparently enjoyed hundreds of millions of followers on Twitter. He promoted these ICO’s as unbiased investment advice, when in fact it was not so.
Colorful past and flamboyant targets
According to the New York Times, McAfee fled from Belize in 2012 after the local police said he was a person of interest in the murder investigation of his neighbor, Gregory Faull.
A while later, he appeared in Guatemala City seeking asylum. However, the authorities later arrested him in that country on immigration charges.
In 2016, McAfee announced his intention to run for President of the United States as a Libertarian.
In 2017, he predicted that bitcoin would touch a price of $ 1 million by the end of 2020.
“When I predicted Bitcoin at $500,000 by the end of 2020, it used a model that predicted $5,000 at the end of 2017,” McAfee said on Nov. 29, 2017. “BTC has accelerated much faster than my model assumptions — I now predict Bitcoin at $1 million by the end of 2020. I will still eat my d**k if wrong.”
Related Story: Why McAfee Expects Bitcoin to Touch $1 Million by 2020
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