The US accuses John McAfee of failing to file tax returns and hiding assets and is requesting his extradition from Spain.
The elusive cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee was arrested in Spain for tax evasion in the US, the Justice Department in Washington said.
McAfee is accused of not filing U.S. tax returns from 2014 to 2018 and of hiding assets such as real estate, a vehicle and a yacht on behalf of others, prosecutors said. A charge returned in June was unsealed on Tuesday following his detention. He is being held until extradition, the Justice Department said.
Prosecutors claim McAfee made millions of dollars from promoting cryptocurrencies, speaking engagements, consulting assignments, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary, but never filing tax returns. Instead, his income was deposited into accounts held on behalf of others, prosecutors claim. He faces a prison sentence of up to five years if convicted of tax evasion and a year if found guilty of not filing taxes.
It is the latest legal complication for the eccentric software mogul who was interested in a murder in Belize despite not being charged with a crime. Last year he was arrested in the Dominican Republic for entering the country with a gun cache of ammunition. He was also a brief presidential candidate in this year’s US election and ended his escape from overseas in March.
The criminal charges were released just hours after the US Securities and Exchange Commission sued McAfee for promoting the sale of cryptocurrencies without it being known that he had been paid for them.
The commission claims McAfee recommended at least seven initial coin offers to its Twitter followers from at least November 2017 through February 2018 without revealing that it made more than $ 23 million to boost them. He is also accused of denying that he was paid at the request of investors.
The SEC seeks to compel McAfee to detract from any illicit profits and to prohibit it from participating in the issuance, purchase or sale of digital asset securities and unspecified fines.
McAfee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The commission also accused McAfee of being an investor or technical advisor, “which gave the impression that he had screened these companies, that they benefited from his technical expertise, and that he was willing to invest in the companies.”
When one blogger announced he was getting paid, McAfee was still holding “practically worthless” securities from the offers he was promoting and encouraging investors to buy them – without revealing that they were his own securities, and so was he had paid a third party to recommend her. according to the complaint.
McAfee also engaged in a practice called scalping, in which it collected large amounts of digital securities and advertised it on Twitter without disclosing its intention to sell, the SEC said.
McAfee founded his eponymous software company in 1987. Intel Corp., which wanted to integrate security functions directly into its chips, bought the company in 2010 for 7.7 billion US dollars. TPG and Thoma Bravo later took part. In 2016, Intel announced that it had signed an agreement to transfer a 51% stake in the company to TPG for $ 1.1 billion. The company filed for an IPO last month.