Antivirus software creator, John McAfee, has been charged with evading millions in tax, after failing to disclose income, and submit tax returns for four years. The US is seeking his extradition from Spain.
The US SEC claims Mr McAfee used his profile to net over US$23.1 million in undisclosed compensation, by recommending at least seven initial coin offerings (ICOs) to his Twitter followers.
Reported by Reuters, the indictment against Mr McAfee was filed under seal in June, and unsealed after his arrest in Spain – the US is seeking extradition.
Despite earning millions from the sale of his life-story for a documentary, cryptocurrency recommendations and consulting work, the US Justice Department claims Mr McAfee failed to file any tax returns between 2014 – 2018.
The SEC also alleges that from at least November 2017 – February 2018, Mr McAfee recommended cryptocurrencies, and falsely denied he was paid to promote them.
His recommendations have been deemed “materially false and misleading”, encouraging investors to buy tokens without disclosing his own holdings.
The SEC is seeking to ban Mr McAfee permanently from serving as an officer or director of any listed company (or that which files reports to the agency), plus other penalties.
He is also said to have hidden assets from the US Internal Revenue Service, including real estate, a yacht and vehicles.
If convicted of all charges, Mr McAfee could face up to thirty years in prison.
Mr McAfee founded the famous anti-virus company in the late 80s and sold it for around US$74 million in 1994.
Last week, the cybersecurity platform announced its comeback as a public company, following a filing. McAfee is reportedly registered to raise up to US$100 million.
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