John McAfee - crypto-anarchist and a fighter against the system

John McAfee is a millionaire entrepreneur. He created the legendary antivirus and was a crypto-anarchist. He was a US presidential candidate, had a harem and was linked to crime. He saw himself as one fighting the system.

John McAfee despised grayness and mundanity from his student days and until the end of his life. His soul always longed for a party, bright colors and carnival. Therefore, he easily changed his areas of interest, types of drugs and alcohol, as well as countries of residence.

John could easily change his life in a luxury villa for months on a yacht, fleeing from justice in all kinds of seas and oceans. While running for president of the United States twice, he was also being protected by members of organized crime. McAfee was the creator and owner of an antivirus that was bought by such world-famous brands as Intel. Later, he decided to become a libertarian and crypto-investor in order to use his tweets to multiply the capitalization of certain coins throughout the day.

He was a multi-millionaire, had a female harem, his own small army of bodyguards with a criminal past, and policemen on a payroll. But he got busted for banal tax evasion, which in the USA might drive even a "die hard" like John to commit a suicide... However, let's unravel his story one chapter at a time. 

John McAfee - a fighter against the system

John McAfee - a fighter against the system

Early years and education

McAfee was born on September 18, 1945. His father, after the end of the Second World War and military service, could not adapt to civilian life and the job of a road inspector. He compensated for his inability to control his inner demons by drinking heavily and beating his wife and son on a regular basis. When John turned 15, his father completely gave up and committed suicide by shooting himself.

John was math-minded, so he enrolled in a state college majoring in mathematics, where he got a bachelor's degree in 1967 and a Ph.D. The college’s environment, with its numerous young female students and easily accessible drugs, appealed to John so much that he stayed on to work there after graduation. It didn't last long though - he was kicked out for ethics violation (he slept with one of the students). Later, this student became his first wife. But not the last.

Cybernetics for the win

John became interested in cybernetics during his student years, when he worked part-time at a punch card encoding company. There, he learned about the fundamentals of the early computers and received his first programming experience. After college, he got a job at the Missouri Pacific Railroad, where John was involved in laying out logistics routes using IBM computer systems. Rumor has it that he was kicked out for abusing drugs during working hours. He then worked in a variety of companies, including the NASA laboratory in New York, UNIVAC, Xerox, Computer Sciences Corporation, and also the very serious Lockheed Martin corporation, which made money on direct orders from the Pentagon, the US Department of Energy, and NASA.

McAfee - the owner of the world-famous McAfee antivirus company

In the mid-1980s, the first computer viruses began to emerge. John deliberately infected one of his PCs with the most famous virus at the time to break it down into "molecules" and create the first MVP of an antivirus scanner. After that, he lost interest in Lockheed Martin and started his own company, which later got his name. This company developed the world-famous McAfee antivirus, which was purchased by the world's largest corporations. This is what made John a millionaire. In 1994, McAfee lost interest in his company. He was tired of antivirus and managing the company's operations, so he decided to leave the post of CEO. Two years after McAfee's company went public, he sold his shares, which brought him $100 million and the status of a multimillionaire.

Other projects

After John left McAfee, he had the money and desire to try something new. So McAfee started Tribal Voice, a company that developed a PowWow messenger that never “flew up” Later, John invested in a firewall developer, traded real estate, consulted startups, and gave lectures. John was so much into yoga that he wrote several books on it and even created a yoga resort. Then McAfee launched an aerotracking school, which ended sadly - his cousin crashed, and John got a $5 million lawsuit to compensate the deceased's family. The crisis of 2008 finished off McAfee for good - his fortune decreased from $100 million to just $4 million. Eventually, he sold all his real estate:  villas in Hawaii and Colorado, houses in Arizona and Texas, as well as a ranch in Mexico, and moved to Belize at the end of 2000s.


In 2010, John McAfee had a romance with microbiologist Allison Adonisio. He became fascinated not only with a new girl, but also with the idea of ​​creating a new class of antibiotics. After launching QuorumEx, John put his new mistress in charge of a specially designed laboratory. In the meantime, McAfee started new business projects such as opening a restaurant, producing coffee and cigarettes, and purchasing a high-speed ferry to launch a water taxi service. He began injecting testosterone to keep his new mistress interested in him.

John developed a paranoid streak over time. He believed he was being watched and that someone wanted to kill him. There were attempts though. McAfee said that locals attempted to kill him 11 times in a single year. For protection, he hired several mercenaries - the same killers who tried to murder him. In addition, he built a police station, provided law enforcement officers with weapons and paid them overtime to keep drug dealers out of the area.

Due to the fact that laboratory research never found a new compound to create antibiotics, the company QuorumEx ceased to exist. McAfee remained on his own estate with a harem of seven local girls (including minors) and under the supervision of a private armed guard. When paranoia intensified, he was either stopping suspicious cars with a gun in his hands or personally chasing drug dealers.

John with his "entourage" in Belize

John with his "entourage" in Belize

At the end of April 2012, members of McAfee's non-controlled law enforcement agencies broke into the laboratory in search of methamphetamine. They never found the drugs, but they confiscated 10 weapons and 320 units of ammunition. However, McAfee managed to keep this case under wraps.

Escape from Belize

The neighbors of the McAfee estate suffered a lot from the constant noise, gunshots and barking dogs. All of this extremely infuriated American expatriate Gregory Fowle, who filed a complaint against John. A day later, McAfee's four dogs were poisoned, and Fowle was found shot dead in his own home. John denied all the charges, and when he was declared wanted, he ran away, leaving behind all the fruits of his "hard work" in Belize.

The fugitive McAfee did everything by the book. Just like in the spy thriller book, he changed his appearance (dyed his hair and wore chewing gum under his upper lip), constantly changed locations, spied on the police and even used a doppelganger, whom he sent to Mexico to lead the law enforcement officers on a false trail.

McAfee was found in neighboring Guatemala, where he tried to get political asylum, but he was arrested for illegal border crossing, and then he was deported to the United States.

McAfee is the US President candidate, a libertarian and a crypto-head

After escaping from Belize, McAfee, as always, did not have time to waste - he started promoting his personal brand: he gave interviews, appeared on television and wrote memoirs. John was once again on the verge of bankruptcy after his Belizean accounts were seized.  Fowle's family sued him for murder. However, all these circumstances did not stop him from marrying for the third time in 2012. His life companion was a former prostitute, Janice Dyson, whom John met in one of the Miami bars.

In 2015, John McAfee decided to run for the US Presidency as an independent candidate. Due to the fact that he was not accepted into the Libertarian Party, he created his own "Cyber ​​Party." McAfee devastatingly lost the presidential campaign, but decided to give it another shot in  2020, but to no avail.

Since 2017, McAfee has made money mainly from cryptocurrencies. He also was promoting Bitcoin and various ICO projects through advertising company McAfee Crypto Team on Twitter. John bought (or just said so) unknown coins, and then raised their price by several hundred percent in a day with a single tweet (a strategy known as Pump&Dump). Of course, he didn’t mention the fact that ICO advertising was not for free, but generously rewarded by the organizers in the form of project tokens or other financial benefits.

At that time, any crypto startup considered it a great honor to have John as part of their team  (even if it was virtual). For a photo on these projects’ websites, McAfee asked for a profit share, or the status of an investor in the early stages. In such a way he could buy coins at the lowest rate, and then sell them at the highest price during the hype peak. John's income then again reached millions of US dollars.

There is one interesting fact about Ukraine. In 2017, John McAfee became a consultant at the ICO stage of little-known Ukrainian blockchain startup Hacken. Now this brand is well-known, but that time it was only making its first steps in the market. For his role, John received a 10% share of the startup’s future profits.

McAfee's meeting with Hacken's core team

McAfee's meeting with Hacken's core team

Accusation, new escape, jail and death

In 2019, the US Department of Justice accused McAfee of engaging in illegal cryptocurrency transactions from 2014 to 2018, tax evasion, and deliberate refusal to file tax returns. John would have to pay a hefty fine and spend 30 to 100 years in jail for his offenses.

McAfee did not argue about tax evasion. He had said many times that he does not trust the existing fiscal system, believes taxes are illegal, and even tried to put forward something of a protest manifesto.

John decided to become a fugitive again. He and his wife departed the USA aboard his personal yacht, which he dubbed the "Freedom Ship." During his travels, McAfee made a number of statements threatening to expose corrupt U.S. officials who, as he claimed, had unfairly persecuted him. Subsequently, his trace was found in various countries: the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Norway, Belarus, Lithuania, and, eventually, Spain.

In October 2020, McAfee was detained at Barcelona airport with tickets to Istanbul. Afterwards, he and his lawyers were scratching the time in every manner to prevent his extradition to the United States. And the day after the decision was made, namely June 23, 2021, he was found dead in his own cell.

McAfee's wife, Janice, does not believe the suicide version. She noted that John did not have suicidal tendencies and wanted to continue fighting the system.

This is how the life of the extravagant billionaire John McAfee ended, although there is a version that his death was staged. So, this is a story with an open ending…