The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has indicted Indicts John MCafee LawCrime in relation to an ICO touting scheme and a pump and dump scheme. This comes as a significant development in the digital asset security space.
United States Securities and Exchange Commission
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a civil complaint against John David Indicts John MCafee LawCrime, the former chief of the antivirus software company McAfee Associates. The complaint charges McAfee with violating anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws.
According to the SEC, Indicts John MCafee LawCrime allegedly promoted ICOs on his Twitter account without disclosing the issuers or payments. He also allegedly promoted digital assets without paying taxes, earning a total of $23 million from promoting cryptocurrencies.
Course of Investigation
During the course of the investigation, the FBI examined Skype communications between McAfee and several members of his team. They found that McAfee had been communicating with ICO issuers privately. While he allegedly received payment from ICO issuers, he also claimed to be an independent advisor. Moreover, he falsely claimed that he personally invested in some ICOs.
According to the SEC’s complaint, McAfee had been receiving payments for promoting digital assets since December 2017 through January 2018. His team also paid him in digital assets. These payments included Ether, a form of a currency backed by the value of bitcoin, and seven projects’ own tokens. As of January 2018, McAfee’s personal holdings of these cryptocurrencies totaled over $2 million.
The federal government has charged John McAfee with a wide range of crimes. He is accuse of engaging in a “pump and dump” scheme, which is a fraud scheme that manipulates the price of a commodity, in this case a cryptocurrency. Generally, a pump and dump scheme involves a person boosting the price of a commodity by making false statements about the company or product.
According to the indictment, John McAfee was indicte on seven counts of wire and commodities fraud, and also on a charge of money laundering. The indictment alleges that McAfee and his business partner Jimmy Gale Watson Jr. defrauded investors by misleading them about the ICOs they were promoting.
In addition, the indictment states that MCAFEE failed to disclose the extent of his ownership of the Altcoins. Moreover, MCAFEE also concealed compensation arrangements with ICO issuers. As a result, McAfee and his team were unable to report their compensation to the IRS, despite having been legally obliged to do so.
Digital Asset Security
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed a formal complaint against John McAfee, the former antivirus software innovator, for his role in a digital asset security scheme. According to the complaint, McAfee was allegedly paid $23 million in crypto-based assets.
According to the CFTC, McAfee’s scheme involve a slew of high-stakes claims that are unlikely to have ever been made in a legal setting, but were allegedly market on social media as legitimate offerings. McAfee’s team also reportedly touted a number of cryptocurrencies as securities. However, it was not until McAfee’s arrest that the full scope of his scheme came to light.
One of the most intriguing aspects of McAfee’s scheme was the fact that he allegedly claimed to have personally invested in some of the ICOs he promoted. While McAfee denied such claims, he did confirm that he had been paid. In addition to the legal trolls, he was also accused of tax evasion. MCAFEE has been charged in a separate set of criminal proceedings by the United States Department of Justice Tax Division.