If there were not enough millionaires in the 2016 presidential race, one more has been added to the list—John McAfee, creator of the McAfee antivirus for computers, has announced his bid to enter the competition.
The self-titled “eccentric millionaire,” who wound up becoming a fugitive in Belize, filed the obligatory paperwork on September 8 to place his name on the already-full list as a third-party candidate.
That’s not all. The 69-year-old said in a statement, “I am founding a new party yet to be announced.” This news was first released in The Hill, a well-known non-partisan political newspaper. Soon after the story broke, an official campaign web site was launched. McAfee, who no longer has any association with the antivirus software that still uses his name, promised via a Twitter post to release an “official announcement” on the evening of September 9.
McAfee has indeed led a colorful, high-profile life since getting rid of the last of his shares at McAfee Associates two decades ago. Just a month ago, he was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and for possessing a handgun while under the influence.
However, the major controversy girding his life is his 2012 detention in Guatemala. He was detained on suspicions of illegally entering the country, which is inevitably what made him (in)famous beyond the scope of the tech world. McAfee crossed the border into Guatemala to escape from Belize where he was wanted by investigators for an inquiry concerning his neighbor’s death. He was consequently deported back to the U.S. within weeks. Although he rebuffed any sort of participation and was not declared by the authorities as a suspect, this did not stop Belize officials from selling off his country assets, and his house mysteriously burned down in 2013.
Meanwhile, Belize’s prime minister, Dean Barrow, has characterized McAfee as “extremely paranoid, even bonkers.”
McAfee once upon a time had a net worth of over $100 million and was known to be one of the super wealthy. After 2008, his net worth reportedly sank to only about $4 million. And as if his escapades in Belize and Guatemala weren’t bizarre enough, the fugitive-turned-politician also allegedly had his own “harem” of between nine to 12 women who lived with him in Belize—he allegedly claimed that some of them were presented to him as “16-year-old prostitutes.”
Johnson, M.A., “Ex-Fugitive Anti-Virus Creator John McAfee Running for President,” NBC News web site, September 9, 2015.
Bort, J., “As If His Life Wasn’t Insane Enough, John McAfee’s Home In Belize Was Burned To The Ground,” Business Insider web site, May 20, 2013.