Antivirus Tycoon John McAfee Arrested In Spain For Tax Evasion
The world of computing’s resident renegade John McAfee has been detained by Spanish authorities after being indicted on fraud charges in the US.
The creator of the well-known antivirus software was boarding a flight to Istanbul from Barcelona using a British passport when he was detained.
He has now reportedly been moved to a facility in Madrid where he awaits extradition to the US to face the numerous charges against him.
McAfee was charged with tax evasion and wilfully failing to file tax returns on Monday, just hours before his arrest in the Spanish airport, according to Reuters.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also allege McAfee was paid to promote cryptocurrencies to his Twitter followers between November 2017 and February 2018, while he falsely denied these payments were being made.
The SEC said:
McAfee leveraged his fame to make more than $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation by recommending at least seven initial coin offerings to followers.
McAfee is known for his views on taxes, stating that he doesn’t agree with the concept and also believes nobody should pay them.
In the following video from January 2019, McAfee can be seen on a boat in international waters openly discussing his refusal to pay taxes, as he announced he was ‘at war’ with the IRS – the US government’s tax division – for ‘unspecified’ charges relating to cryptocurrency.
I have not paid taxes for eight years. I’ve made no secret of it. I’ve not filed returns. Every year I tell the IRS ‘I’m not filing returns’, I have no intention in doing so. Come and find me.
And find him, it eventually would.
Along with his declaration of war against the IRS, McAfee took the opportunity to launch his 2020 presidential campaign; an effort he previously attempted in 2018 but failed to garner enough popularity as either an independent or as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.
In March 2019, McAfee was ordered to pay $25 million in damages to the family of his ex-neighbour Gregory Faull, who alleged McAfee paid $5,000 to have him killed.
Faull’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, the judgement of which was handed down by a US Federal District Judge in Florida. The judge ordered McAfee to pay millions in damages, but in typical John McAfee style, he took to Twitter to say he had no intention of paying the money because he simply didn’t have it.
I have not responded to a single one of my 37 lawsuits for the past 11 years. They have all been frivolous, even though judges are required to decide for the plaintiff if I do not respond. I refuse to play the legal extortion game aimed at America’s wealthy class.
Among these other 37 lawsuits includes another wrongful death claim, which resulted in a judge ordering McAfee to pay $2.5 million in damages following the death of McAfee’s 22-year-old nephew Joel Gordon Bitow and Robert Gilson in a 2006 air crash.
Bitow was acting as a flight instructor for one of McAfee’s previous businesses, despite only holding a sport pilot certificate and not a full licence. Gilson’s family’s wrongful death claim was again left unpaid by McAfee.
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