The US Department of Justice reported that the legendary John McAfee was arrested in Spain. The fact is that the former head of MacAfee is accused of tax avoidance, deliberate concealing of tax declarations and violation of the securities law. McAfee is currently awaiting extradition to the United States.
In total, McAfee will stand trial in connection with ten charges. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) intends to sue him separately, claiming that he earned at least $ 23 million from various promotions related to cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency transactions, violating various laws and regulations.
According to the indictment of the Justice Department, McAfee did not pay taxes on the funds he earned between 2014 and 2018. The government also claims that McAfee has long avoided meeting with tax inspectors and tried to hide his assets, including real estate and a yacht (usually by transferring ownership to other people).
According to prosecutors, McAfee has made tens of millions of dollars from his numerous Twitter followers advertising various cryptocurrencies, and has also not paid any taxes on this. It is also noted that in recent years, McAfee regularly received royalties for various performances and consultations, and also earned on transition of rights to film the story of his life.
“John McAfee made millions from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking and selling the rights to his story for a documentary. From 2014 to 2018, McAfee did not file tax returns, despite receiving significant income from these sources”, — reads a statement from law enforcement officers.
As a result, if found guilty, McAfee could face up to five years in prison for tax avoidance, as well as up to one year in prison on each of five charges of willful tax evasion.
In turn, representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission write that McAfee earned by telling his subscribers about various cryptocurrencies.
“At the same time, the former head of McAfee did not tell people that he was paid to advertise certain altcoins, and in some cases he even had a stake in the companies in which he called for investments. For example, in one case, McAfee advertised an unnamed ICO for users and at the same time tried to sell his stake invested in this company”, – say the court documents.
In total, advertising for seven ICOs on Twitter brought John McAfee about $23 million, and experts emphasize that in all cases, “McAfee’s recommendations were false and misleading.”
The SEC does not face a jail sentence, but if McAfee is found guilty, he will have to deal with multimillion-dollar fines and penalties.
Jimmy Watson, who has been responsible for McAfee’s personal security in recent years, also appears in court documents. According to authorities, he often helped negotiate on behalf of McAfee and acquainted more than $300,000 in the process.
And for example, another IT legend Steve Wozniak sues YouTube over cryptocurrency scammers.