NEW YORK — Antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee was indicted on fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges that he and cohorts earned over $13 million by tricking investors enthusiastic within the emerging cryptocurrency marketplace, police said Friday.
McAfee, 75, was charged in a recently unsealed indictment in Manhattan federal court combined with Jimmy Gale Watson Jr., who served as an executive advisor on which prosecutors called McAfee’s”so-called cryptocurrency team”
McAfee, police said, is arrested in Spain on different criminal charges filed by the U.S. Justice Department’s tax department.
“He battled for different people’s rights and liberties, and he’s entitled to and looks forward to his day in court to work out some of the very rights,” he explained in an email.
“Criminal indictments are blunt tools, not exact scalpels,” Spencer added. “This isn’t the ideal spot to debate whether cutting edge technologies such as cryptocurrencies are commodities, securities, or something different.”
It wasn’t immediately clear who would represent McAfee. There was no attorney recorded for him at the Memphis, Tennessee, federal court where taxation charges were lodged against him in October.
“McAfee and Watson exploited a popular social networking platform and excitement among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency marketplace to create countless lies and deception,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated in a declaration describing offenses in 2017 and 2018.
“The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter accounts to print messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting a variety of cryptocurrencies by false and deceptive statements to hide their true, self-interested motives,” she added.
Back in October, McAfee was billed in Tennessee with evading taxes later failing to record income generated from encouraging cryptocurrencies while he did consulting job, made speaking engagements and sold the rights to his own entire life story for a documentary.
McAfee developed early online security applications and continues to be hunted by police from the U.S. and Belize previously.
The Tennessee indictment stated McAfee failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, despite getting”substantial income” from many resources.
Back in July 2019, McAfee was released from detention from the Dominican Republic after he and five other people were suspected of travel to a yacht carrying high-caliber firearms, ammunition and military-style equipment, officials around the Caribbean island stated in the moment.