The Bizarre Life (And Death) Of John McAfee
We’ve all heard the name of anti-virus software, McAfee but how many know the owner, the tech mogul and legend? He rose to fame during the 1980s when he created and founded McAfee Associates who sold the world-renowned McAfee anti-virus software.
He was considered as someone who lived a flamboyant lifestyle with antics and behavior that went on to inspire several different films and documentaries. He was a nomad who had traveled the world to avoid the law and different authorities.
He left McAfee in 1994 and the company has since then done its best to put him at arm's length. After they were bought for $7.7 Billion in 2010 by Intel, they went as far as to change the name to 'Intel Security.' But what could have John McAfee done that made them go this far?
Well, after resigning from the company and making (reportedly) $100 million-though he admitted to ABC News that his fortune was “much more”-McAfee dabbled in numerous amount of ventures from instant messaging to investing in a firewall maker. He also tried to provide flights in what’s called “trikes” which are hand gliders that have cabins suspended.
In 2008, he started a herbal company called QuorumEx which was focused on creating an herbal antibiotic but 2009 brought trouble for him as he was losing his finances and fast. Moreover, with the recession hitting, he had to sell a large number of his assets including his art collection and properties such as his dinosaur skull, a fleet of planes, and a yoga retreat that hosted 200 guests in Colorado just to name a few!
QuorumEx, based in Belize was still running but in 2012 his research lab was raided on suspicion of producing methamphetamine (Meth). Even though he was never charged, the lab was shut down, his dog shot and he was imprisoned but was eventually, let off. It was also reported that he was in bed with a 16-17-year-olds when the cops raided the lab.
From Drug Bust To Murder?
In 2012, he was the person of interest in the investigation into the murder of his neighbor Gregory Faull who was found dead by his maid. Faull was not happy with McAfee’s lifestyle, calling it disruptive with a wild crowd of underage girls accompanied by bodyguards and his nine dogs. Faull had gone as far as to complain to the mayor about McAfee’s antics but he was found two days later with a bullet in his head. When local authorities went in pursuit of McAfee, he went on the run. He was still conducting interviews while on the run as a fugitive but was arrested in December in Guatemala.
It gets more bizarre! He, then, wanted to take political refuge in Guatemala but after being denied, he faked two heart attacks, and instead of being deported to Belize, he was instead deported to Miami.
In 2015, he made the headline once again, this time by announcing his run as a presidential candidate. He ran as a part of the Cyber Party but later on changed his ticket to the Libertarian Party. He tried to run again in 2020 but was in “exile” due to him and his wife (along with four of his staff from his campaign) being investigated by the IRS for their role in tax felony.
Doesn’t sound bizarre enough? Other than the 2020 presidential candidate run, he also announced he would consume his own penis on live television if Bitcoin did not reach $1million by the end of 2020. He, later on, went to claim that he just said this to onboard investors and bring them into the world of cryptocurrency.
His Final Bow
In 2019, he was arrested in the Dominican Republic on the suspicion of carrying high-caliber rifles and military-style equipment while traveling on a yacht. Then again he was caught by the Spanish authorities for the U.S. when he was trying to leave Barcelona to fly to Istanbul in 2020. He was charged in the U.S. for avoiding paying taxes and he also hid and failed to report his income streams from cryptocurrency, selling the rights to his life for a documentary and his consulting work.
Other than hiding his income streams, he concealed assets such as yachts and a variety of properties which were bought in other people's names. Also, in March, counts of money laundering and fraud was added with the U.S. Justice Department, estimating him and his business partner got over $1 million by using false advertising to promote cryptocurrency.
After fighting his extradition proceedings, the Spanish court claimed the extradition must go forward but in a weird twist of events, the flamboyant tech mogul was found dead in this cell in a Spanish jail located near Barcelona. “A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death," said the Catalan government who then later added “everything points to death by suicide.”