John McAfee – a long-time bitcoin advocate and the man behind arguably the most prominent and recognized form of antivirus software in the world – is once again facing charges from the U.S. government.
McAfee Is in Hot Water Again
McAfee was initially arrested last October. He is now being charged with conspiracy to commit “commodities and securities fraud,” along with several other forms of fraud relating to new digital currencies he was either developing or had already released. In addition, he is facing accusations of wire fraud and money laundering, along with his executive adviser Jimmy Gale Watson Jr.
Among those bringing the charges to the front lines are Audrey Strauss, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the assistant director of the FBI’s New York field office. The men are accusing McAfee and his team of alleged crypto professionals for running false promotions for the sake of getting people to invest in cryptocurrencies that likely weren’t real.
In a press release, it is mentioned:
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. Investors should be wary of social media endorsements of investment opportunities.
McAfee has been something of a controversial figure in the digital currency industry. He has often served as a hardcore bitcoin advocate, though his words have sometimes gotten him in trouble. Amongst the items he’s predicted included a $1 million bitcoin price in the year 2020, something that ultimately didn’t occur.
McAfee repeatedly claimed via news outlets and social media that he would eat his own d*ck if bitcoin didn’t reach this figure. However, when it became clear that this wasn’t going to happen, McAfee sought to save his skin – and all his other parts – by claiming that this initial prediction was nothing more than a joke, and that investors simply took it too seriously.
McAfee later announced plans to run for president as an independent candidate during the 2020 election, another event that failed to materialize. McAfee claimed that he would run his campaign while in exile in Cuba, where he was hiding from U.S. law and financial authorities. Perhaps it became clear to him halfway through the journey that this was easier said than done.
We’re Coming After You
Court filings suggest that McAfee, Watson and the rest of his team took to social media to “publish messages to hundreds of thousands” of Twitter followers for the purpose of promoting phony crypto assets while hiding their true intentions to mislead investors. Watson was arrested in Texas last Thursday, while McAfee is being held in Spain.
In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed civil charges against both figures.