March 5 (UPI) — Federal prosecutors have charged antivirus software program mogul John McAfee and an adviser with conspiracy to commit fraud, amongst different crimes, in a scheme involving cryptocurrency investments, authorities mentioned Friday.
The founding father of the McAfee antivirus software program firm and affiliate Jimmy Gale Watson have been charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and cash laundering conspiracy.
Officers mentioned the fees relate to 2 plots to fraudulently promote cryptocurrencies qualifying underneath federal legislation as commodities or securities.
Authorities mentioned brokers arrested McAfee in Spain and Watson in Texas. Their arrests have been introduced Friday after indictments have been unsealed in U.S. District Court docket in New York.
“As alleged, McAfee and Watson exploited a broadly used social media platform and enthusiasm amongst buyers within the rising cryptocurrency market to make thousands and thousands by way of lies and deception,” U.S. Legal professional Audrey Strauss said in an announcement.
“The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to lots of of 1000’s of his Twitter followers touting varied cryptocurrencies by way of false and deceptive statements to hide their true, self-interested motives.”
The Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee additionally filed a grievance in U.S. District Court docket for the Southern District of New York charging each males for a scheme it says concerned quite a few digital belongings, together with Verge, Dogecoin and Reddcoin.
McAfee, Watson and different members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency crew are accused of taking in additional than $13 million from buyers within the fraudulent schemes.
“Manipulative and fraudulent schemes, like that alleged on this case, undermine the integrity and improvement of digital belongings and cheat harmless folks out of their hard-earned cash,” CFTC Appearing Director of Enforcement Vincent McGonagle said in an announcement.
“Monetary innovation is consistently breaking new floor, and [our] enforcement efforts should sustain. We’ll all the time act to carry fraudsters and manipulators accountable for misconduct.”