Published on 13 Dec 2012 Sections , ,

McAfee back in the US after month on the run

Anti-virus millionaire John McAfee has returned to the US. He was deported from Guatemala after fleeing police in Belize, who want to question him over the death of his neighbour.

Anti-virus software millionaire John McAfee is back in the US after being deported from Guatemala, where he was seeking to evade police in neighbouring Belize.

English-born McAfee is wanted for questioning over the murder of his American neighbour in Belize, but US authorities have not confirmed whether he will now be detained for questioning.

The software tycoon has spent several weeks on the run before finally being arrested in Guatemala, where he was seeking asylum.

‘Thorn in their side’

On landing in the US, McAfee told reporters “If you have read my blog for seven months, I have been speaking out against the Belize government openly, angrily and I am a thorn in their side and they want to shut me up.

“I’m not worried at all. If I am in front of a court there is nothing in the world they will do to send me back.

“They have no evidence but I have tonnes of evidence about the corruption, the harassment – beginning with the attack on my property in April… I mean of course I am not worried I would be happy to go in front of a judge just not one in Belize.”

Living as a fugitive

His expulsion from Guatemala comes after a month of living as fugitive while regularly updating internet users about his well-being.

McAfee fled avoid police questioning about the November killing of his neighbour American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull.

Belize authorities have urged him to show up for questioning, but have not lodged any formal charges against him. McAfee says he fears he will be killed if he turned himself in to authorities. He was in hiding for weeks after police pronounced him a person of interest in the killing.

Rise and fall

John McAfee began work as a programmer with Nasa in 1968. In 1980, while working for Lockheed, he began developing software to combat computer viruses.

In 1987 he launched McAfee Associates to help companies address security problems, developing VirusScan – the world’s first automatic anti-virus software.

In 1992 McAfee raised $50m from his company’s public offering, he resigns from the company in 1994 and sells his remaining shares the next year. The company remains one of the largest anti-virus businesses in the world.

In 1994 McAfee bought a 280-acre compound in Colorado for $25m and developed new instant messaging software PowWow with his new company Tribal Voices. During this period he became obsessed with yoga and, later, extreme sports.

In 1999 he sold Tribal Voices for $17m and began to invest in real estate. McAfee “invented” a new sport of aerotrekking which involves flying on half motorcycle half hang-glider contraptions. In 2006 his nephew Joel Bitow crashed while aerotrekking, Bitow and his passenger both died instantly. McAfee was sue for $5m.

In 2008 McAfee moved to Belize, where he bought the coastguard a $1m boat to help fight drug trafficking.

Plunging fortune

The New York Times reported in 2009 that McAfee’s fortune had plunged to $4m from its $100m peak.

McAfee started a new company in February 2010 looking into bacterial technology purchasing 22 acres in the jungle.

In April 2012 police stormed his Belize compound searching for drugs and guns, shooting one of McAfee’s dogs and confiscating an arsenal of weapons. In November McAfee founds four of his dogs poisoned. His neighbour Gregory Faull had previously complained about their barking.

Days later Faull was found shot dead in his home and police identified McAfee as a suspect. McAfee denies involvement in the murder and claims there is a plot against him.

McAfee blogged while on the run, and was joined in December by Vice Magazine reporters who inadvertently revealed his location. He was captured on 6 December, seeking asylum in Guatemala.

Miami hotel

A posting on McAfee’s website has announced that he is at a hotel in Miami’s and confirms immigration agents escorted him to an airport taxi stand after his arrival.

An FBI spokesman in Miami has stated that they are not involved with McAfee’s return and there is no active arrest warrant for McAfee that would justify taking him into custody.

McAfee has suggested his weeklong detention in Guatemala for entering the country clandestinely had taken its toll on him.

“All I can tell you is, I’m 10 years older, and I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just going to Miami,” he has stated.