John McAfee, a computer programmer best known for his anti-virus software, has been indicted on federal tax evasion charges after allegedly hiding assets from the IRS, including real property, a vehicle, and a yacht, the Department of Justice said Monday. McAfee, the founder of McAfee Associates, has been charged with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns, according to an unsealed June indictment following his arrest in Spain. Prosecutors allege McAfee earned millions of dollars from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting, speaking engagements, and selling his life story for a documentary—but failed to file tax returns from 2014 and 2018. To avoid tax liability, McAfee allegedly directed his income to several bank accounts and cryptocurrency accounts and bought several items, including real estate, a yacht, and a car. The indictment, however, does not allege McAfee received any income from the anti-virus company he once founded.
The announcement comes just hours after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued McAfee for allegedly making over $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation by recommending seven cryptocurrency offerings on Twitter that were false or misleading. “Potential investors in digital asset securities are entitled to know if promoters were compensated by the issuers of those securities,” Kristina Littman, Cyber Unit Chief said in a statement, adding that McAfee “allegedly leveraged his fame to deceptively tout numerous digital asset securities to his followers without informing investors of his role as a paid promoter.”