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John McAfee arrested in Spain on tax evasion & crypto fraud, awaits extradition to US after months on the run

John McAfee arrested in Spain on tax evasion & crypto fraud, awaits extradition to US after months on the run


Former software program guru and one-time presidential candidate John McAfee has been nabbed in Spain on tax evasion and cryptocurrency fraud, ending his yr lengthy stint as a globetrotting fugitive. He now faces extradition to the US.

The US Division of Justice and Securities and Alternate Fee each introduced expenses for McAfee on Monday, hitting the safety software program founder with 10 counts linked to dodging the IRS and one other collection of expenses for selling investments in cryptocurrencies with out disclosing that he was paid some $23 million to take action.

“John McAfee earned tens of millions in earnings from selling cryptocurrencies, consulting work, talking engagements, and promoting the rights to his life story for a documentary,” the DOJ stated in an announcement. “From 2014 to 2018, McAfee allegedly didn’t file tax returns, regardless of receiving appreciable earnings from these sources.”

McAfee was charged on 5 counts for willful failure to file a tax return, every of which carries a sentence of as much as one yr in jail, whereas the opposite 5 expenses are linked to tax evasion itself, which may every lead to as much as 5 years behind bars. Initially filed in June, the newly unsealed indictment doesn’t implicate McAfee’s former software program firm, which bears his title.

The SEC additionally accused McAfee of selling “a number of [initial coin offerings] on Twitter” whereas “pretending to be neutral and impartial though he was paid greater than $23 million in digital property for the promotions.” The grievance additionally alleges that McAfee and his bodyguard, Jimmy Watson Jr., engaged in a separate scheme to advertise cryptocurrencies on Twitter after which promote them off as their value rose. The federal government didn’t title the actual currencies in its grievance.

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McAfee is claimed to have generated “an infinite quantity of publicity” with “extravagant posts” on-line – singling out his promise to “eat my d**okay on nationwide tv” if his forecasts for Bitcoin didn’t come true – which the SEC claims helped to pump up the worth of particular cryptos that he then bought off.

“The SEC’s grievance… expenses McAfee and Watson with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities legal guidelines, McAfee with violating the anti-touting provisions, and Watson with aiding and abetting McAfee’s violations,” the fee stated in an announcement, including that it additionally seeks to “bar McAfee from serving as a public firm officer and director.”

The 73-year-old tech tycoon has not made a secret about being a needed man, brazenly sharing his fugitive – and sometimes eccentric – life-style together with his Twitter followers whereas freely admitting to paying no taxes for the higher a part of a decade. He spent a quick time in custody within the Dominican Republic this summer season after authorities found undeclared weapons aboard his yacht, however ‘went darkish’ and moved to an undisclosed location after he was noticed in Iceland by an web sleuth. Final week, nevertheless, he let slip in a tweet that he had traveled to Spain, the place he joked (apparently) that he was checking on the “progress of the mud wrestling area I’m constructing.”

Whereas few particulars about McAfee’s arrest in Spain have been made recognized, he now awaits extradition proceedings there, based on the DOJ.

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Composite image: © REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi, © Twitter / @officialmcafee
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