- John McAfee has been convicted in the US for failing to report his cryptocurrency earnings.
- McAfee is facing extradition to the US after being arrested in Spain in October 2020.
- The SEC alleges that McAfee generated $23.1 million from pump-and-dump projects, in which investors lost $13 million.
- The antivirus mogul’s prison sentence could total 30 years if he’s found guilty on all charges
Digital fame is a model in which a user’s actions are influenced based on one’s perceived trustworthiness. Cryptocurrencies have grown through the use of digital technologies such as social media and influencers are present in every space as they serve as a marketing front for both brands and businesses. Elon Musk has demonstrated his ability to affect crypto markets over the past year, however, John McAfee was the major crypto market influencer of 2017.
A Sour Ballad
In Barcelona in October 2020, while attempting to fly to Istanbul using a British passport, John McAfee was placed under arrest. The infamous tech genius who developed McAfee Antivirus, and was worth over $100 million, is facing tax evasion charges in the US.
The Tennessee Tax Division has charged McAfee with failure to disclose his earnings from cryptocurrencies while undertaking consultancy work. An international warrant dictates that McAfee should be held under arrest until the extradition hearing is concluded. McAfee reportedly claimed the indictment is politically motivated during the hearing, and that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars as “the United States wants to use” him “as an example.”
The US Tax Authorities disclosed that McAfee has failed to report more than just his cryptocurrency earnings. In addition to these aforementioned earnings, he also neglected to report other revenue streams such as paid crypto promotion and selling the rights to his personal documentary. Carlos Bautista, a Spanish prosecutor, emphasized that the defendant is simply a “tax rebel, nothing else,” reiterating his position as a wealthy person who does not follow the rules.
On the Flipside
Still on Top of His Game
Despite being indicted and apprehended, McAfee can’t seem to stay away from Twitter. His latest tweets indicate that his crypto fortune is long gone, claiming he has “nothing.” Furthermore, he asserted that part of his assets have been seized by the authorities, while others have evaporated as people no longer want to associate with him.
Despite everything, McAfee has retained his billionaire allure, even if he sparked several controversies along the way. Although McAfee VirusScan was sold to Intel, McAfee continues to develop self-standing cybersecurity programs, yet he did not file any taxes for over eight years, claiming they were “unconstitutional and illegal.”
The First Bitcoin Evangelist
McAfee made headlines in 2017 after continuously preaching about the value of Bitcoin, claiming it would reach $1 million by 2020, even making an unusual bet for the occasion that it came true. While the prophecy did not come to pass, McAfee has chosen to live off the grid, or more specifically, to live on his ‘Freedom Boat’ as he fled US authorities.
McAfee staunchly maintained his views on an as yet developing cryptosphere, with politicians, regulators, and banks pulling in every direction. Unlike the now infamous Elon Musk, who has been accused of manipulating the price of Bitcoin to his own advantage, McAfee has always venerated Bitcoin, making bullish claims about its place in society.