John McAfee had it all. The software company bearing his name made him a $100 million bucks and a long life living large. Then poof it was all gone!
McAfee started as a software engineer during the 1970s and by 1990 was writing early anti-virus software out of his garage in Santa Clara, CA. The company grew quickly as the Internet turned into the Web and virus attacks became all the rage.
First called McAfee Associates, then Network Associates, then back to McAfee again – the turbulent high growth years made him wealthy, and the recession of 2009 made him ‘poor’. By poor we mean he lost $96 million leaving him with a paltry $4 million.
Then the real trouble started. First losing his assets which included properties in five states and a ton of cash McAfee turned up in Belize starting a new venture to make antibiotics. Oddly, turning his software virus skills into killing biological virus instead.
On May 2, 2012, McAfee’s property in Belize was raided by the Gang Suppression Unit. The arrest was for unlicensed drug manufacturing (meth lab) and possession of unlicensed weapons. McAfee was allegedly with his 17 year old Belizean girlfriend. All charges were later dropped. McAfee is suing the Belizean Government for false arrest But the damage is deep, and the setbacks insurmountable.
At 66 and the target of both government and online hackers, McAfee may have run out of luck. The fall was big, and the end bitter – but hey, he has a 17-year-old girlfriend, a tan, and a bunch of beach clothes. How bad can it be?