John McAfee, founder of the antivirus software company of the same name, is one step closer to facing prosecution in the United States for tax evasion.
In a ruling released on Wednesday, the Spanish National Court approved the extradition of McAfee to the United States. His legal team will have the opportunity to appeal the court’s decision. In addition, Spain’s Council of Ministers will need to approve the extradition before it is final.
The U.S. government had been seeking McAfee’s extradition for charges including failing to submit tax returns from 2014 to 2018 and allegedly not reporting income from “promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.” However, the Spanish court ruling only refers to charges of tax evasion from 2016 to 2018.
McAfee has previously argued that the charges from U.S. officials are politically motivated given he said he would “target the IRS and its corruption” as a Libertarian Party candidate in U.S. elections. If convicted and given the maximum sentence, the tax evasion charges could place the 75-year-old in prison for the rest of his life.
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The computer programmer once had an estimated net worth of more than $100 million largely stemming from his antivirus software company. However, he claimed last week he no longer holds any crypto, as it has “dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee” or otherwise been seized by authorities.
McAfee has been detained in Spain since October 2020 after his arrest at Barcelona’s international airport. However, he still has access to Twitter and regularly posts on his condition and thoughts on the legality of his situation