John McAfee’s hideout traced to Spanish ‘ghost hotel’ with bitcoin farm
Cyber security guru John McAfee – who was found hanged in his prison cell this week – had been hiding for years in a Spanish “ghost hotel” owned by a Russian who allegedly used him to run a secret bitcoin farm, according to reports.
The 75-year-old paranoid mogul has repeatedly sent messages that he is in many places around the world, including Belarus and Norway – the latter where he lied about his arrest for wearing a thong as a mask.
But web detectives were constantly analyzing his images and messages – tracing him to a mysterious hotel in Cambrils, Catalonia, Spanish newspaper El Confidencial revealed after his arrest last October.
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Many tips – from images of beaches to Spanish produce in his photos – linked him to having stayed at the Daurada Park Hotel, which the store called a “ghost hotel” where no one answered the phone and where it was impossible to make calls. reservations.
The Daurada had been suspected by local authorities after a huge sky-pointing laser was built on the roof shortly after it was purchased by an unidentified Russian businessman, Tarragona’s Diari revealed earlier.
It was raided by local police in 2018 – revealing a so-called bitcoin farm that was operating 24/7, the outlet revealed.
The agents reportedly found a set of computers in the basement and garages constantly “exploiting” the Internet to solve computer problems in exchange for a fee in bitcoins, the newspaper said at the time.
It was not immediately clear whether anyone had been charged at the time or whether attempts were made to stop the operation.
But despite being synonymous with online safety, web sleuths – many of whom seem to have since deleted their Twitter pages – have found McAfee through a series of simple blunders, El Confidencial reported.
He included his photos of the beaches and balconies matching the Google Maps images of the mysterious hotel – as well as being surrounded by Spanish goods in photos he claimed to have been taken more than 1,750 miles away in Belarus, a indicated the newspaper.
Furious to be found, he finally confessed that he had gone to Catalonia, even tweet on how he “visited Spain for a few days”.
But he had in fact been based there since at least March of last year, seven months before his arrest on a spate of tax evasion charges in the United States – and may have been there for years, according to the newspaper.
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“He himself said that he has been coming to Catalonia often since 2018 or 2019 and it seems he was based at this hotel,” one of the researchers online told El Confidencial.
McAfee had just been ordered to be extradited to the United States on Wednesday when he was found hanged in his cell in Barcelona prison.
He and his wife had hinted online that if he was found dead this way it would not be suicide, but Spanish authorities have so far insisted there does not appear to be any foul play. implied.
Some of the US charges he faced included a pump-and-dump system involving cryptocurrencies he was touting on social media.
In this case, McAfee and an accomplice are said to have defrauded bitcoin investors of some $ 13 million in two schemes, including one in which they bought large amounts of “alt-coin” and then inflated the price by doing so. know on Twitter.
They then sold the cryptocurrency at the inflated price and made a profit of $ 2 million, prosecutors said. He could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of all the charges against him.
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El Confidencial said it had tried to contact the owners of the Daurada to comment on its exhibit – but, in keeping with its reputation as a “ghost hotel”, it was unable to reach anyone.
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