Cybersecurity magnate and drama magnet John McAfee has been arrested and faces multiple charges of tax evasion from 2014 to 2018.
According to unsealed indictment documents filed in June, McAfee has avoided income tax for at least four years. From 2014 to 2018, McAfee was paid millions for various high-profile endeavors including consulting, on-stage events, promotion of cryptocurrency, and even selling his story for a biopic documentary. McAfee faces 10 total counts: 5 for tax evasion and 5 for failing to file income tax. If convicted, McAfee could face maximum charges of up to five years imprisonment for each count of tax evasion (25 years) and 1 year for each count of knowingly failing to file a tax return (5 years), equaling up to 30 years in prison.
The indictment alleges McAfee avoided taxes by channeling these funds to accounts in other people's names, including both cryptocurrency wallets and bank accounts. McAfee also allegedly hid major million-dollar assets from the IRS including vehicles, yachts, and real estate with mock ownership in others' names.
John McAfee has been arrested in Spain and will soon be extradited to the United States to face the charges.
Below is a copy of the press release from the United States Department of Justice, and here's a link to the indictment document.
John McAfee Indicted for Tax Evasion
Allegedly Hid Cryptocurrency, a Yacht, Real Estate and Other Properties in Nominee Names to Evade Taxes
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.