Spain’s national court said on Wednesday it has approved the extradition of antivirus software pioneer John McAfee to the United States where he is wanted for tax evasion.
The court’s decision to extradite a 75-year-old man arrested at Barcelona airport can be appealed, but it must also be approved by the Spanish cabinet before it can happen.
“The court agrees to approve the extradition of John David McAfee as requested by U.S. judicial officers for offenses referred to in tax crime prosecutions for 2016 to 2018.”
McAfee is accused of knowingly failing to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018 despite consulting work, earning millions from crypto-currencies and selling the rights to his life story.
If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.
According to a US extradition request filed in November and cited in the ruling, McAfee earned more than 10 million euros in that period but never filed a tax return.
“From 2014 to 2018, the defendants generated over 10 million euros in income and therefore accumulated millions of dollars in tax liabilities. They did not file tax returns during any of those years,” it said.
“In order to hide his income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service … the defendant ordered the payment of part of his income to the straw men and placed the property in his name.”
The Spanish court ruling only mentions offenses committed between 2016 and 2018.
McAfee was about to fly to Istanbul when he was arrested in Barcelona on October 3, 2020.
His arrest came a day after the US indictment was made public, although it was released in June.
Since making a fortune in the 1980s with his eponymous antivirus software that still bears his name, McAfee has become a self-proclaimed crypto-currency guru, claiming to make $2,000 a day.
He has more than one million followers on Twitter.
He said in a tweet on June 16 he said US officials believed he had “secret crypto. I wish I had”.
“The rest of my property has been confiscated. My friends are lost in fear of union. I have nothing. Still, I have nothing to regret.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)