- John McAfee, once the go-to guy for crypto pumping, has been in a Spanish jail for nine months awaiting an extradition hearing
- McAfee’s case has been delayed following a foul up by Spanish authorities
- McAfee claims he is broke, but he likely has millions hidden away in the darkest corners of the blockchain
John McAfee is a name that immediately sorts cryptocurrency users into two camps – those who joined prior to 2017 and those who joined after. McAfee’s Coin of the Week was for many months a guaranteed way to artificially pump the price of a cryptocurrency, but the post-2017 bear market saw McAfee’s reputation diminish rapidly and he was seen for the money grabbing charlatan that he always was. Four years later he is sitting in a Spanish jail awaiting a delayed extradition hearing having seen, so he says, all his crypto and other assets stolen or seized.
From Riding High to Riding in a Cop Car
McAfee was arrested at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport last October by Spanish police acting on a U.S. warrant – the Department of Justice (DoJ) had unsealed multiple financial crime charges against McAfee relating to his activities between 2014 and 2018, accusing him of illegally making millions in cryptocurrency and not filing a tax return.
This arrest, which McAfee had proudly claimed on several occasions could never happen, has led, according to him, his assets being seized and his crypto vanishing, leaving him broke. A tweet from McAfee last week stated that the $30 million+ he is said to have earned through his promotional activities has “dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee” while any remaining assets “are all seized”:
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
Given the time that McAfee has had to squirrel away his crypto earnings and the contacts at his disposal to help him do so, the claim that all his coins have been stolen by his team is about as fantastical as you can yet. However, his multi-year head start combined with his knowledge of the crypto space, not to mention the contacts he has picked up along the way, means that the authorities are highly unlikely to track down his hoard, which is presumably split up all over the blockchain like a digital Lord Voldemort hiding his horcruxes.
McAfee Won’t Get to Spend His Money
McAfee’s current situation is, according to his lawyer Javier Villalba, perilous, given the fact that he is 78 and has been in prison for nine months on charges that don’t warrant such punishment. McAfee has himself compared the prison food to “rat shit in motor oil”. The reason McAfee has been in jail for so long is partly due to a balls up from Spanish authorities who didn’t give Villalba enough information on the case before the hearing earlier this month. This meant that the hearing was cancelled and will now go ahead at a later, unspecified date.
If McAfee is extradited, it will have likely been over a year since his arrest, whereupon he faces another year or so preparing for the case. By this time he will be 80, and with a 45-year sentence hanging over him, not to mention the fact that Circuit Court in Orlando, Florida still wants to speak to him over the death of a former neighbor, Gregory Viant Faull, in Belize, McAfee will have to go some to make use of the money he had inevitably hidden.