McAfee Arrested In Spain, Faces US Extradition Over Tax Evasion Charges

John McAfee, the founder of the eponymous software firm McAfee Corporation, has been arrested in Spain and faces extradition to the United States over tax evasions charges, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.

What Happened: The Tax Division of the Justice Department unsealed an indictment dating back to June 15 that alleges McAfee failed to file his taxes even though he earned “millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.”

The Justice Department alleges that the British-American entrepreneur evaded his tax liability by directing income into nominee bank and cryptocurrency accounts.

Prosecutors said that the 2016 presidential candidate concealed assets like a vehicle and a yacht in the name of others.

If convicted, McAfee faces a maximum 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. 

Monetary penalties, restitution, and a period of supervised release may also be applicable.

Why It Matters: The indictment doesn't allege that McAfee received any income or had any connection with McAfee Corp.

Late last month, the antivirus company filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

The company was acquired by Intel Corporation INTC in 2010 for $7.7 billion, which later spun it off for $4.2 billion. 

The SEC too charged the McAfee founder for promoting investments in initial coin offerings to his Twitter followers without disclosing he was paid for such promotional activities, the regulator said in a statement.

The market regulator alleges that McAfee was paid as much as $23 million for ICO promotion and did not admit to being paid even when asked by investors.

Jimmy Watson Jr., McAfee's bodyguard, is also charged with helping transfer and convert cryptocurrency on his behalf. 

Photo courtesy: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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