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John McAfee Arrested for Tax Evasion

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Oct/06/2020

Cybersecurity entrepreneur and crypto personality John McAfee was arrested in Spain on Tuesday for US tax evasion.

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Prosecutors say he failed to file tax returns for four years, despite earning millions from consulting work, speaking engagements, crypto-currencies and selling the rights to his life story.

None of the income is connected with the software firm which bears his name.

The US Justice Department issued the following statement:

An indictment was unsealed today charging John David McAfee with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns, announced 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. The June 15, 2020 indictment was unsealed following McAfee’s arrest in Spain where he is pending extradition.

According to the indictment, John McAfee earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary. From 2014 to 2018, McAfee allegedly failed to file tax returns, despite receiving considerable income from these sources. The indictment does not allege that during these years McAfee received any income or had any connection with the anti-virus company bearing his name.

According to the indictment, McAfee allegedly evaded his tax liability by directing his income to be paid into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts in the names of nominees. The indictment further alleges McAfee attempted to evade the IRS by concealing assets, including real property, a vehicle, and a yacht, in the names of others.

If convicted, McAfee faces a maximum sentence 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. McAfee also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Dunavant commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney William Guappone of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Wilson and Damon Griffin, who are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.

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