Onetime Bay Area kook turned global kook/accused murderer and tax evader John McAfee has been arrested in Spain and will apparently be extradited to the U.S. soon to face tax evasion charges.
McAfee, now 75, made his original millions creating some antivirus software that still bears his name. He took that money and hightailed it Belize, where he bought a house, cavorted with underage prostitutes, got married, and in 2012 was considered a person of interest in the death of a fellow expat neighbor with whom he had an alleged feud.
Because of his former home in Santa Clara County and his Bay Area connections, SFist wrote about the case at the time as McAfee blogged about being on the lam from authorities. Belize police said at the time that they believed McAfee was in possession of, and possibly manufacturing, methamphetamine, which McAfee denied — as the BBC reported McAfee claimed to have been sober since the early 1980s, but said, "My body is covered with tattoos from that period. And I'm afraid some of my ideas and concepts and attitudes that were moulded during that time [of addiction] are still with me. That's why people think, perhaps, I'm a little bit off the wall."
The prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, said that McAfee was "extremely paranoid, even bonkers."
McAfee fled Belize to Guatemala, got arrested there, but still managed to make it to the U.S. and give an interview to NBC Bay Area in January 2013 from his new home in Portland, Oregon. We last heard from McAfee when he tweeted a photo of a bunch of guns he was bringing to San Francisco for a bitcoin conference in 2016, and that year he also attempted to run for president on the Libertarian ticket, but failed to win the party's nomination.
Now, as the New York Times reports, McAfee is awaiting extradition in Spain after U.S. authorities filed charges against him for alleged tax evasion and failure to file stemming in part from his bitcoin shenanigans.
Some "initial coin offerings" that McAfee presented as cryptocurrency investment advice to his Twitter followers between 2017 and 2018 were allegedly paid promotions that he netted $23 million from. And this is just some of the income McAfee is accused of trying to conceal from U.S. authorities, despite maintaining his citizenship.
According to the federal 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." And, "From 2014 to 2018, McAfee allegedly failed to file tax returns, despite receiving considerable income from these sources."
McAfee then allegedly went about concealing assets by purchasing things "including real property, a vehicle, and a yacht" in other peoples' names.
In separate news, McAfee is on the hook for a $25 million judgement against him last year in a Florida court in a civil wrongful death suit brought by the estate of that neighbor who died in Belize, which he said on Twitter he would not pay. Shortly thereafter, he was kicked out of the Dominican Republic after being found with illegal weapons on his yacht, and when asked where he wanted to be flown, he said London.
Here's a video that he made in some kind of sound studio and posted to Twitter in July, about the "deep state."
Is there a deep state? Does it secretly control America?— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) July 25, 2020
Use your common sense!
Have a listen. pic.twitter.com/yIwmnPf8Di
McAfee's wife, Janice McAfee, posted to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm her husband's arrest in Spain, and to say that both her and McAfee's Twitter accounts are "staffed by interns."
"Regardless of whatever John may or may not have done, he has spent most of his retirement fighting not only for his own freedom, but everyone's freedom, in America and across the world," Mrs. McAfee writes. "Now more than ever he needs your support... in this battle against injustice."
She adds, "While John is detained we will continue to staff his Twitter account to provide whatever updates we can."
My statement on John's detainment. pic.twitter.com/VU0WpUGp6R— Janice McAfee (@theemrsmcafee) October 6, 2020