Entrepreneur John McAfee is awaiting extradition to the U.S. after federal prosecutors charged him with tax evasion. McAfee has been alleged of hiding cryptocurrency assets, a yacht, and real estate assets as part of a tax-evasion conspiracy. Which he neglected to pay from 2014 to 2018.
The SEC also accused the former programmer of promoting investments in ICOs. Among his Twitter followers without revealing that he was paid to do so. McAfee’s bodyguard, Jimmy Watson, Jr. was also accused of his role in the alleged scheme.
McAfee’s latest tweet is from September 12th, in which he explains why he doesn’t vote for anyone:
Who am I voting for?
Why would I choose one person over another to control me?
Slave masters are the same.
We are numbers rather than people, irrespective of the master.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) September 12, 2020
A formal indictment charging John David McAfee with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns was released today. Announced Senior Deputy Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee.
John McAfee Indicted for Tax Evasion – Allegedly Hid Cryptocurrency, a Yacht, Real Estate and Other Properties in Nominee Names to Evade Taxeshttps://t.co/6hcFNmLhBW
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) October 5, 2020
The June 15, 2020 indictment was revealed following McAfee’s arrest in Spain, where his extradition is pending.
More and More Accusations in Recent Years Against McAfee
According to the indictment, John McAfee made millions in revenue by promoting cryptocurrencies. Too consulting work, lectures, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.
From 2014 to 2018, McAfee allegedly failed to file tax returns, despite receiving substantial income from these sources. The prosecution does not allege that during these years McAfee has had any connection with the anti-virus company.
According to the indictment, McAfee allegedly avoided its tax liability. By ordering its income to be paid into bank accounts and crypto exchange accounts in the names of the nominees.
The indictment further alleges that McAfee attempted to evade the IRS by concealing assets, including real estate, a vehicle, and a yacht, in the name of others.
If convicted, McAfee faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count of tax evasion and a maximum sentence of one year in prison for each count of willful failure to file a tax return.
McAfee also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
What Exactly is McAfee Accused Of?
According to the SEC complaint, McAfee promoted multiple ICOs on Twitter, allegedly pretending to be impartial and independent despite being paid over $23 million in digital assets for the promotions.
When asked if he was paid to promote the ICOs, McAfee denied receiving any compensation from the issuers. The complaint also alleges that McAfee made other false and misleading statements, such as claiming that it had personally invested in some of the ICOs and that it was advising certain issuers.
The complaint alleges that Watson helped McAfee negotiate promotion agreements with ICO issuers, helped McAfee collect digital asset payments for promotions.
For one of the ICOs that McAfee was promoting, had her then-spouse tweet about her interest in the ICO. Watson was allegedly paid at least $316,000 for her role. According to the complaint, “while McAfee and Watson benefited, investors were left with digital assets that are now essentially worthless“.
McAfee and Watson also allegedly participated in a separate scheme to benefit from the security of a digital asset by secretly accumulating a large position in McAfee’s accounts. Promoting that security on Twitter with the intention of selling it, and then selling McAfee’s shares as the price increased.
“Potential investors in digital asset securities have a right to know if the issuers of those securities compensated the promoters,” said Kristina Littman, Head of the Cyber Unit. “McAfee, assisted by Watson, allegedly took advantage of its reputation to misleadingly promote numerous digital asset securities to its followers without informing investors of its role as a paid promoter“.
This latest bizarre development probably means that McAfee’s hopes of becoming the next U.S. president have been suspended for the time being.