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John McAfee, antivirus software pioneer, charged with tax evasion in US

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John McAfee, the antivirus software entrepreneur, has been charged with evading taxes after failing to report millions earned promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements and the sale of the rights to his life story for a documentary, US prosecutors have alleged.

McAfee hid assets from the Internal Revenue Service, including real estate property, a vehicle and a yacht, in the names of other people, prosecutors said.

A June indictment charging McAfee with tax evasion and wilful failure to file tax returns was unsealed in federal court in Memphis, Tennessee, on Monday after McAfee’s arrest in Spain, where extradition is pending, the US attorney’s office said.

Online court records do not show whether McAfee has a lawyer to speak on his behalf about the charges.

McAfee rose to prominence after developing early internet security software, and has been sought by authorities in the US and Belize in the past.

The indictment said McAfee failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, despite receiving “considerable income” from several sources. The indictment does not allege that McAfee received any income or had any connection with the antivirus software company bearing his name during those years, prosecutors said.

McAfee evaded taxes by directing his income to be paid into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts in the names of others, the indictment said.

If convicted of all charges, McAfee could face up to 30 years in prison.

McAfee was released from detention in the Dominican Republic in July 2019 after he and five others were suspected of traveling on a yacht carrying high-calibre weapons, ammunition and military-style gear, officials on the Caribbean island said at the time.

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