According to a recent release from the US Department of Justice, or DoJ, crypto advocate, and internet security pioneer, John McAfee faces several criminal charges.
McAfee was charged with “conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities and touting fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and substantive wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy offenses stemming from two schemes relating to the fraudulent promotion to investors of cryptocurrencies qualifying under federal law as commodities or securities,” the DoJ’s statement from the Southern District of New York said on Friday.
Jimmy Watson Jr.’s position on the “McAfee Team,” which served in the digital asset business, is also listed among the offenses. Watson was caught by authorities in Texas on Thursday, March 4, according to the report.
McAfee has also been charged with tax evasion and initial coin offerings, or ICOs, which he reportedly sold for compensation without properly informing the public, before today’s news. McAfee was arrested in Spain in October 2020 after going on the run from the U.S. government in 2019.
According to cointelegraph.com, as of the DoJ release, McAfee is already behind bars. “MCAFEE is currently detained in Spain on separate criminal charges filed by the United States Department of Justice’s Tax Division,” the DoJ said on March 5.
“As alleged, McAfee and Watson exploited a widely used social media platform and enthusiasm among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception,” Audrey Strauss, a Southern District of New York attorney, said in the DoJ statement, adding:
“The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives. McAfee, Watson, and other members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency team allegedly raked in more than $13 million from investors they victimized with their fraudulent schemes.”