McAfee and his affiliate reportedly used their giant Twitter account to advertise altcoins and ICOs to traders by way of a so-called pump-and-dump system.
The US DOJ has indicted anti-virus software program entrepreneur John McAfee with fraud and cash laundering conspiracy offenses associated to cryptocurrency schemes he allegedly promoted together with his enterprise companion, Jimmy Gale Watson Jr.
In a press release, the DOJ stated that McAfee and Watson, an government advisor to its cryptocurrency group, conspired to commit commodities and securities fraud, securities fraud and bragging, digital fraud and substantial digital fraud; and cash laundering offenses.
Each are indicted in a seven-count indictment, with every cost carrying a most penalty of 5 to twenty years in jail, in addition to attainable monetary penalties.
The costs stem from two schemes associated to the fraudulent promotion of cryptocurrencies to traders certified underneath federal legislation as commodities or securities, the place the 2 are stated to have acquired greater than US $ 13 million from traders.
“McAfee and Watson are stated to have harnessed a extensively used social media platform and the keenness of traders within the rising cryptocurrency market to earn hundreds of thousands by way of lies and deception,” the DOJ stated.
The 2 reportedly used the Twitter account of antivirus software program firm McAfee to publish messages to tons of of 1000’s of subscribers touting numerous cryptocurrencies by way of false and deceptive statements to cowl up their true private motives.
McAfee is presently being held in Spain on separate felony fees following a tax evasion arrest introduced final October. Watson was arrested Thursday March 4 in Texas and introduced earlier than a federal Justice of the Peace on Friday March 5.
In keeping with courtroom paperwork, between roughly December 2017 and October 2018, McAfee and Watson, together with different members of the so-called “McAfee group”, fraudulently used McAfee’s massive Twitter account to artificially inflate the costs of “altcoins” by way of a so-called pump. and-dump, whereas hiding the funds McAfee acquired from start-ups to advertise their ICOs.
In separate parallel enforcement actions, the SEC (Securities and Trade Fee) and CFTC (Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee) have filed civil fees towards McAfee and Watson. The SEC grievance was deposit in October 2020, when the CFTC was deposit March 5.