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,

Antivirus Software Pioneer John McAfee Arrested in Spain on Tax Evasion Charges

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, antivirus software pioneer, arrested in Spain | US news

The antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee, who has been indicted for tax evasion in the US after allegedly failing to declare earnings running into millions of dollars, has been arrested by Spanish police while attempting to board a flight from Barcelona to Istanbul.

A June indictment charging McAfee with tax evasion and wilful failure to file tax returns was unsealed in federal court in Memphis, Tennessee, on Monday after McAfee’s arrest in Spain, where extradition is pending, the US attorney’s office said.

McAfee, 75, has been charged with evading taxes after failing to report millions earned promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements and the sale of the rights to his life story for a documentary.

According to prosecutors, he hid assets from the Internal Revenue Service, including real estate property, a vehicle and a yacht, in the names of other people.

The securities and exchange commission has also brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging he made more than $23.1m (£18m) in undisclosed compensation from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.

A Spanish police source said McAfee had been arrested at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on 3 October.

“He was travelling to Istanbul and when his documents were run through the database, it emerged that he was the subject of a US warrant on fraud charges,” said the source.

Judicial sources told Reuters McAfee had appeared before a high court judge via videolink after his arrest and had been remanded in custody in a Catalan jail pending the extradition process.

Following his detention, McAfee’s official Instagram account posted a “Free McAfee” message accompanied by a photo of him.

The US indictment alleges that McAfee failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, despite receiving “considerable income” from several sources. The indictment does not allege that McAfee received any income or had

Spain detains software creator McAfee wanted in US

Anti-virus software creator John McAfee, who is wanted in the United States for tax evasion, has been arrested at Barcelona airport, police said Tuesday.

Officers detained the 75-year-old on Saturday as he was about to board a flight to Istanbul and he was being held at a jail near Barcelona awaiting extradition to the United States, a Spanish police source told AFP.

His arrest comes a day after US prosecutors released an indictment against McAfee for allegedly failing to report income made from promoting crypto-currencies, making speaking engagements and selling the rights to his life story for a TV documentary.

The indictment, which was issued in June but only unsealed on Monday, said McAfee failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, despite receiving “considerable income” from several sources.

McAfee allegedly evaded taxes by directing his income to be paid into bank accounts and crypto-currency exchange accounts in the names of others, according to the indictment.

He is also accused of evading the US tax office by concealing assets, including real estate, a yacht and a car, by putting them in the name of others.

US officials issued an arrest warrant through Interpol and have asked for his extradition, according to Spanish police.

Since making a fortune with his eponymous antivirus software in the 1980s that still bears his name, McAfee has become a self-styled crypto-currency guru, claiming to make $2,000 a day. He has nearly one million followers on Twitter.   

He suddenly became tabloid grist after moving to Belize and his neighbour in the Central American country was mysteriously murdered in 2012, a crime that remains unsolved. 

When the police found him living with a 17-year-old girl and discovered a large arsenal of weapons in his home, McAfee disappeared on a month-long flight that drew breathless media coverage.  

McAfee software creator jailed in Spain, sources say

FILE PHOTO: John McAfee, co-founder of McAfee Crypto Team and CEO of Luxcore and founder of McAfee Antivirus, speaks at the Malta Blockchain Summit in St Julian’s, Malta November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

BARCELONA (Reuters) – John McAfee, an anti-virus software creator indicted for fraud in the United States, was in jail on Tuesday pending extradition procedures after being arrested in Barcelona airport at the weekend, sources said.

The McAfee software founder was detained on Saturday when about to board a flight to Istanbul with a British passport, a Spanish police source said.

A judicial source said McAfee was then presented to a high court judge through a video call and sent to prison without bail where he will await the extradition process.

A third source, from the Catalonia region’s justice department, said he was in the Brians 1 jail, which opened in 1991 in an industrial area 45 minutes by car from Barcelona. Some local politicians have been jailed there for corruption.

After he was arrested, McAfee’s official Instagram account posted a “Free McAfee” message with a photo of him. The person running the account did not return a message seeking comment.

No other representatives were immediately contactable.

U.S. federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment on Monday against McAfee over charges that he evaded taxes and wilfully failed to file returns.

That came shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed it had brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging he made over $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.

He is alleged to have earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, as well as through consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.

Reporting by Joan Faus, Inti Landauro, Emma Pinedo; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Andrew Cawthorne