The antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee, who has been indicted for tax evasion in the US after allegedly failing to declare earnings running into millions of dollars, has been arrested by Spanish police while attempting to board a flight from Barcelona to Istanbul.
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.
McAfee, 75, 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.
According to prosecutors, he hid assets from the Internal Revenue Service, including real estate property, a vehicle and a yacht, in the names of other people.
The securities and exchange commission has also brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging he made more than $23.1m (£18m) in undisclosed compensation from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.
A Spanish police source said McAfee had been arrested at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on 3 October.
“He was travelling to Istanbul and when his documents were run through the database, it emerged that he was the subject of a US warrant on fraud charges,” said the source.
Judicial sources told Reuters McAfee had appeared before a high court judge via videolink after his arrest and had been remanded in custody in a Catalan jail pending the extradition process.
Following his detention, McAfee’s official Instagram account posted a “Free McAfee” message accompanied by a photo of him.
The US indictment alleges that 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