A leading advocate of cryptocurrencies has left the US and gone into exile on a boat after he was accused of tax-related crimes.
John McAfee, who set up and later sold the McAfee antivirus software package, has long since been known as a proponent of crypto.
He has supported the existence of crypto for a number of reasons in the past – including both financial, suggesting that “you cannot lose money by mining Bitcoin”, and political.
He recently announced that he would run for President of the United States in the 2020 election. However, he has now said that he will run his campaign in exile after he was caught up in an alleged tax fraud scandal.
This comes after what he claims was a move by the IRS, or Internal Revenue Service, to put together a grand jury to indict him, his wife Janice and four people working on his presidential campaign – for what he called “various tax fraud issues”.
He has made it publicly clear in recent years that he does not pay taxes owed, and that he has in fact not paid any taxes for eight years.
However, he claims that the indictment is, in fact, an effort by those in charge to shut him down and silence what he has to say.
In a series of videos and comments posted on Twitter, he outlined his plans to continue with his presidential campaign from afar.
“Today a grand jury was convened by the IRS to indict Janice and me and four various unnamed campaign workers for various tax fraud issues”, he said.
He suggested that the government was looking to shut him down in relation to his views on cryptocurrencies.
“I’m challenging the agency responsible for fueling our Government’s madness — the IRS. The IRS will not sit idly by. I know this. But I have prepared my entire life for this battle.
“Cryptocurrencies is one of these technologies and probably the most dramatic to have occurred in human history since the invention of fire — because…cryptocurrencies free the individual from the yoke of currency controlled by governments.”
‘“They want to silence me and I will not allow that, I am running my campaign in exile on this boat for the duration — I will not allow them to imprison me and shut my voice down, which they will do immediately — Why? I am a flight risk. Obviously, I am in flight”, he added.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Janice McAfee took a political angle to her indictment.
“3 letter agencies using any means necessary to silence its critics is nothing new. Win, lose or draw, I will never be silent against tyranny. Give me liberty or give them death!” she said.
This is not John McAfee’s first foray into politics. He sought the nomination of the US Libertarian Party in 2016 but did not succeed.
McAfee’s exact current location in exile is unclear, although some online posts suggest he is either travelling to or in the South American country of Venezuela.