John McAfee Arrested, Indicted for $23 Million Illegal Crypto Pumping and Tax Evasion in US

John McAfee has been arrested and indicted for tax evasion, the U.S. Division of Justice presented. The cybersecurity entrepreneur has moreover been charged with fraudulently pumping cryptocurrencies by the U.S. Securities and Substitute Commission.

McAfee Fraudulently Pumped Tokens

The U.S. Division of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and Substitute Commission (SEC) independently presented their actions against two-time U.S. presidential candidate John McAfee on Monday.


The SEC has charged the 74-year-long-established antivirus instrument multi-millionaire and his bodyguard Jimmy Watson Jr. with fraudulently pumping initial coin choices (ICOs). The agency outlined that from in any case November 2017 to February 2018, “McAfee leveraged his standing to beget extra than $23.1 million U.S. dollars (‘USD’) in undisclosed compensation by recommending in any case seven ‘initial coin choices’ or ICOs to his Twitter followers.” He had roughly 784,000 Twitter followers at the time; that number has enormously grown to about a million at press time.

Consistent with the SEC, the antivirus instrument pioneer did now not show that he was once being paid to promote the tokens, which constitutes “unlawful ‘touting’ and violates the federal securities licensed pointers.” Emphasizing that “The ICOs at verbalize eager the offer and sale of digital asset securities and McAfee’s ideas devour been materially unfaithful and misleading for several causes,” the SEC detailed:

The ICOs McAfee touted raised in any case roughly $41 million and McAfee made roughly $23.2 million in secret compensation for his touts.

The SEC moreover smartly-known that McAfee “lied to merchants by falsely denying he was once being paid by the issuers” when straight asked if he was once being paid to promote the money.

His paid promotions devour been exposed by a blogger in February 2018, rendering his tweets ineffective for pumping extra ICOs. However, he tranquil held “a mountainous preference of nearly worthless securities from the ICOs he had previously touted,” the SEC persisted, alongside with that he then paid a third social gathering to pump these tokens and encouraged merchants to resolve them without disclosing that he was once trying to dump his have stash.

“McAfee engaged in a apply identified as ‘scalping,’” which “once rapidly lets in promoters to promote their securities holdings swiftly and profitably by blueprint of market passion that they deceptively generate, and violates the federal securities licensed pointers,” the SEC described.

Watson was once McAfee’s bodyguard, who “seriously assisted McAfee’s touting and scalping schemes,” the SEC alleges, alongside with:

McAfee was once paid bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) worth extra than $11.6 million, plus an extra $11.5 million worth of promoted tokens, as undisclosed compensation for his promotions of seven ICOs. McAfee paid Watson in any case $316,000 for his feature.

The SEC seeks to deliver the defendants “to disgorge all sick-gotten gains” and “pay civil monetary penalties.” The agency moreover seeks to completely restrict McAfee from serving as an officer or director of particular companies and the defendants from taking allotment within the issuance, retract, offer, or sale of any digital asset safety.

McAfee has been responsive to the SEC watching him for reasonably some time. In December 2018, he tweeted: “Other folks are warning me against opposing the SEC and stamp Elon Musk’s submission to them for occasion I must apply. I even devour had many dances with the SEC. I know who they are, and I am now not Elon Musk – I’m John Fucking McAfee. Look for the variation.”

McAfee Arrested and Indicted for Tax Evasion

In the meantime, the DOJ unsealed an indictment Monday charging McAfee “with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns.” Consistent with the announcement, “The June 15, 2020 indictment was once unsealed following McAfee’s arrest in Spain where he is pending extradition.” On Sept. 28, the two-time presidential candidate tweeted that he “Went to Spain this weekend to verify the event of the Mud Wrestling Enviornment I’m constructing.”

The DOJ outlined that McAfee failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018 regardless of receiving “millions in earnings from selling cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life myth for a documentary.”

“McAfee allegedly achieved without his tax licensed responsibility by directing his earnings to be paid into monetary institution accounts and cryptocurrency alternate accounts within the names of nominees,” the announcement notes. “The indictment extra alleges McAfee tried to evade the IRS by concealing resources, alongside with true property, a automobile, and a yacht, within the names of others.” Along with going by blueprint of “a period of supervised open, restitution, and monetary penalties,” the DOJ outlined:

If convicted, McAfee faces a most sentence of five years in penal advanced on every rely of tax evasion and a most sentence of 1 year in penal advanced on every rely of willful failure to file a tax return.

McAfee has made no secret that he is now not paying taxes. “Tax evasion is [a] misrepresentation of earnings. I even devour by no contrivance achieved that. I merely refuse to pay,” he tweeted in February. Moreover, reported in January 2019 that McAfee had fled the U.S. and was once living in exile on a ship after he was once charged with “utilizing cryptocurrencies in criminal acts.”

Function you imagine McAfee must receive away with ICO pumping and tax evasion? Dispute us within the feedback section under.

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