The popular cyber security expert and cryptocurrency evangelist John McAfee has been indicted on charges of tax evasion by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The expert has been arrested in Spain and is awaiting extradition.
According to the indictment, the expert earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.
The authorities claim that the McAfee failed to file tax returns for incomes related to a period between 2014 and 2018.
“From 2014 to 2018, McAfee allegedly failed to file tax returns, despite receiving considerable income from these sources.” reads the press release published by DoJ.
“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 investigators suppose that the income was directed into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts in the names of nominees.
According to prosecutors, McAfee allegedly attempted to evade the IRS by concealing assets, including real property, a vehicle, and a yacht, in the names of others.
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.
The DoJ announced the charges after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also charged McAfee with fraudulently touting ICOs.
“The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged businessman and computer programmer John McAfee for promoting investments in initial coin offerings (ICOs) to his Twitter followers without disclosing that he was paid to do so.” reads the SEC’s press release.
“According to the SEC’s complaint, McAfee promoted multiple ICOs on Twitter, allegedly pretending to be impartial and independent even though he was paid more than $23 million in digital assets for the promotions.”
McAfee could face 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. The popular expert also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Let’s remind that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, John McAfee)