Why Was John McAfee In Jail? The Reason Behind His Stint In Spanish Prison Revealed

On June 23, reports about the death of the American software developer and entrepreneur John McAfee were released publicly and shocked people all around the world. As per a report by Business Insider, the cause of death was suicide. McAfee was found dead in a Spanish prison, where he had been held since 2020. His death has raised many questions about his recent activities, one of them being — why was John McAfee in jail in Spain? There is already a spate of viral conspiracy theories about his death floating around the internet. Read on to know why John McAfee was arrested by the Spanish authorities. 

Why was John McAfee in Jail?

As per an article by Independent UK, John McAfee was arrested in Spain by the Spanish authorities. As per the article, the Spanish authorities were acting on a request by the United States Department of Justice. The Department of Justice had announced that McAfee had failed to pay taxes to the US government on millions of alleged income that he earned between 2014 to 2018. As per reports, he did not file any tax returns between those years. 

A day after McAfee was arrested by the Spanish authorities, the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint that claimed that McAfee earned $23 million in cryptocurrency assets by promoting Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) while failing to mention that he was an investor in these Initial Coin Offerings. Initial Coin Offers (ICO) are similar to Initial Public Offerings (IPO) but they are held for cryptocurrency investors to invest in new coins.

Over the past few years, many ICOs have turned out to be complete scams and the creators of these cryptocurrency ICOs have disappeared with millions of dollars of investor money. The reason behind the widespread practice of scams in the ICO space was the lack of cryptocurrency regulation. Apart from these, there were also several charges that the businessman faced in his past. 

John McAfee Suicide 

On March 5, 2021, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York officially indicted John and one of his partners for allegedly promoting cryptocurrencies on Twitter and failing to mention their personal investment stake in these cryptocurrencies. As per the US Attorney’s Office, McAfee and his partner promoted many such cryptocurrencies to their hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, and after the prices of the cryptocurrencies rose significantly, they would sell their shares in a classic ‘pump and dump’ scheme. The US authorities were seeking McAfee’s extradition to the US and the Spanish authorities reportedly complied with their request on the morning of June 23, 2021. McAfee was found dead by suicide several hours later. 

IMAGE: AP

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