Former Presidential candidate and the man behind McAfee anti-virus software, John McAfee was arrested in Spain on charges of tax evasion. The business tycoon allegedly evaded his tax liability by directing his income to be paid into bank accounts and crypto exchange accounts in the names of nominees. Furthermore, the indictment also alleged that McAfee attempted to evade the IRS by hiding assets, including real property, a vehicle, and a yacht, in the names of others.
The DOJ’s official press release stated,
“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.”
Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] also sued McAfee for allegedly not disclosing that he was being paid to promote the ICOs by the issuers.
The SEC alleged that the cybersecurity millionaire engaged in a practice known as “scalping” as to at least one digital asset security, by accumulating large amounts of the digital asset security and touting it on Twitter
without disclosing with no intention of selling it.
The complaint read,
“McAfee falsely claimed to be an investor and/or a technical advisor when he recommended several ICOs, creating the impression that he had vetted these companies, that they were benefitting from his technical expertise, and that he was willing to invest his own money in the ventures. In reality, McAfee’s tweets were paid promotions disguised as impartial investment advice.”
The plaintiff’s complaint further revealed that there were at least seven unidentified ICO issuers who communicated with McAfee’s team to get him to promote their ICOs in exchange for payment in those coins and in Bitcoin. Using his social media platform, McAfee alleged made more than $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation by these ICOs.