Famous Cybersecurity Entrepreneur John McAfee Indicted on Federal-Tax Evasion Charges
In a recent statement, the U.S. Justice Department announced that John McAfee, cybersecurity executive and millionaire, has been indicted on federal-tax evasion charges. According to our tax lawyers, the indictment was filed this past summer and was unsealed on Monday. It alleges that the millionaire failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018. The Justice Department’s announcement states that the document was unsealed following McAfee’s arrest in Spain, where he is awaiting extradition.
Antivirus Company Founder Faces up to 10 Counts of Tax Evasion
McAfee, who founded an antivirus company he named after himself, faces up to 10 counts of tax evasion. The document is vague regarding whether or not McAfee earned income from his cybersecurity business during the years he failed to file tax returns. However, according to the indictment, McAfee earned taxable income throughout those years from consulting work, speaking engagements, and the promotion of cryptocurrency. It is also alleged that he sold the rights to his life story in 2016 for use in a documentary.
The Justice Department stated that there was a willful attempt at tax evasion on the part of McAfee, and that a yacht, a car, real property, and other assets belonging to him were concealed under the names of other individuals. The Justice Department also made it clear in the statement that, if convicted, McAfee could face up to five years in federal prison for each count of tax evasion, as well as an additional year for each count of deliberately failing to file a return. Monetary penalties, restitution, and a period of supervised release may also be part of his sentence if he is found guilty.
Previous Troubles for McAfee
Earlier this year, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission targeted McAfee with a lawsuit that alleged he earned over $23 million by using Twitter to recommend multiple cryptocurrency offers that, according to a Reuters report, were misleading and false.
McAfee has long been a controversial figure in the world of technology. He first became prominent in the 1980s when McAfee VirusScan, the country’s first commercial antivirus-software program, was released by a corporation he founded. It was the release of this software that helped spark the multi-billion-dollar virus-and-malware-protection industry.
That business was ultimately sold to Intel, but McAfee continued to develop additional cybersecurity products independently. No one knows if McAfee will also consult a cryptocurrency tax attorney for help with the lawsuit concerning the offers he made on Twitter, but he will almost certainly seek the advice of tax lawyers in the coming weeks to help him navigate through his indictments.
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