According to the United States Department of Justice, Manhattan Federal Court today charged John McAfee and his team’s executive adviser Jimmy Gale Watson Jr for fraud and money laundering conspiracy crimes.
McAfee has been charged with securities fraud, touting, and wire fraud among other offenses stemming from the fraudulent promotion of crypto that federal law recognized as securities.
On 6 October last year, United States watchdog, Securities Exchange Commissions (SEC) charged the founder of the McAfee antivirus software firm for allegedly making over $23 million in the process of shilling seven initial coin offerings. Jimmy Gale Watson Jr. was also charged for violating Securities’ law in real-time on Twitter for shilling the ICOs along with McAfee.
The ICOs reportedly raised $41 million in the process with half of those proceeds pocketed by McAfee.
Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss alleged that the duo exploited social media and “enthusiasm” among investors in the “emerging crypto market” to make millions through “lies and deception.” She further claimed:
…[McAfee and Watson] 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.
The investors of these ICOs allegedly concealed the fact that they were compensating McAfee and his team for their promotional tweets through funds raised from public ICO investors.
While McAfee is currently detained in Spain on separate criminal charges filed by the DoJ’s Tax Division. Watson was arrested on 4 March in Texas and will be presented before a federal magistrate judge in the Northern District of Texas, today.
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