Late Multimillionaire John McAfee Lost All His Money Building ‘Bizarre’ Mansions
John McAfee, the multimillionaire inventor of anti-virus software, had lost his fortune when he died in a Spanish prison, according to author Mark Eglinton, who collaborated with him.
Shortly before dying on June 23, the internet pioneer revealed through Twitter that he had no hidden cash and was no longer worth anything. McAfee had reason to conceal his wealth, given that he was charged for tax evasion.
The US believes I have hidden crypto. I wish I did but it has dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee (your belief is not required), and my remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association.
I have nothing.
Yet, I regret nothing.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) June 16, 2021
The question of McAfee’s estate is of interest to his family. His widow Janice McAfee said she believes his death was not caused by suicide, though Spanish authorities said that it was.
Eglinton wrote an upcoming book about McAfee, No Domain: The John McAfee Tapes while he was hiding from authorities. Eglinton said that he believes McAfee no longer had any money. He claimed that McAfee could not pay his fees for the collaboration, which resulted in the book being authored only by Eglinton.
“I don’t doubt that if he could have helped he would have,” said Eglinton. “He said, ‘I can’t do it, my financial situation is worse than yours.'”
Eglinton said he began interviewing McAfee through Skype in 2019 when McAfee was attempting to hide from authorities due to a pending U.S. indictment on charges of tax evasion.
McAfee’s net worth was about $100 million from the antivirus company he created in 1987. McAfee sold off his stake in the company by 1994.
Eglinton denied reports that claimed McAfee lost his money on bad stock picks during the Great Recession.
“He had his money in very safe investments, but he built houses, absolutely bizarre properties,” the author explained. “Some of them, he never slept a night in the property.”
Throughout his life, McAfee owned large mansions and compounds in Belize, Texas, Colorado, Hawaii and Tennessee, as well as other locations.
He sold a few of those properties but lost a lot of money due to property values declining during the Great Recession.
“The $100 million I got out of McAfee [Antivirus], that goes very quickly,” said McAfee according to Eglinton.
McAfee faced an investigation on tax evasion charges, which resulted in his arrest. In recent years, McAfee’s new interest was cryptocurrency, and he attended conferences to speak about the topic.
Federal prosecutors claimed that his enthusiasm for cryptocurrency was part of a fraudulent plan, though McAfee denied this.
U.S. prosecutors charged McAfee with tax evasion for failing to file tax returns from 2014-2018, even though he earned a large amount of money from “promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary,” according to an indictment.
Court documents claimed that he owed the IRS over $4.2 million in taxes.
The indictment claimed that McAfee concealed his assets through complicated schemes, including keeping cryptocurrency accounts and hiding real estate properties and yachts under other people’s names.
Though McAfee is dead and the criminal case against him will be dropped, the government continues to have the ability to sue his estate.
For the forfeiture to proceed, Spanish authorities must provide a death certificate.
“We have not yet received the death certificate, the official autopsy reports or the official report from the prison,” Janice wrote in a statement at the beginning of July.
“I understand that things take time but the lack of cooperation from the Spanish authorities only confirms our suspicions that they have something to hide,” she continued.