March 2, 2024

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Specialists in technology

John McAfee indicted for tax evasion in the US

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Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

An indictment has been unsealed Monday, showing John McAfee is being charged by the Department of Justice with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns. The indictment is dated June 15, and follows McAfee’s arrest in Spain where he is now pending extradition to the United States.

McAfee allegedly earned millions of dollars from promoting cryptocurrencies as well as for speaking engagements, selling his life story for a documentary and consulting work, while also allegedly concealing assets like a yacht, a vehicle and properties in other people’s names. None of the charges have any relation to the McAfee antivirus software.

He allegedly did not file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, the DOJ said Monday.

“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 DOJ said.

Each count of tax evasion carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, while each count of willful failure to file a tax return carries a one-year sentence. 

The antivirus software pioneer has been on the run since 2012 after his alleged involvement in a homicide in Belize, which he denies. Last year, McAfee tweeted that his only “crime is not filing tax returns,” and claimed the rest of the charges against him are “propaganda by the US government to silence me.”

McAfee was arrested by the Dominican Republic Armed Forces while docking his yacht in Puerto Plata in July last year. Multiple high-caliber weapons as well as ammunition were seized during the arrest, AP reported at the time. He tweeted a photoshoot of his time in jail there, before going on the run in Europe.

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