John McAfee was a computer virus tech entrepreneur who died in prison. This has led to many inquiries about his life and possible involvement with cryptocurrency fraud.
McAfee died in a Barcelona jail cell on June 23. He was 75 years of age.
His death occurred just hours after a Spanish court accepted to send McAfee back to Spain, where he was to face tax evasion charges.
McAfee was trying to board a flight from Barcelona, Turkey to Barcelona when he was stopped by Spanish authorities.
McAfee was accused of using his Twitter fame to raise over $23M by pushing at least seven initial coin offerings (ICOs). He was also charged with filing a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), complaint on October 5, 2020.
An ICO is a fundraising campaign that cryptocurrency developers use to raise funds for new tokens. This is a variant of the initial public offering (IPO) used in stock markets.
They ask people to send money in exchange for a piece of a new cryptocurrency.
McAfee received $11.5 million in promoted tokens and was paid in bitcoin and ether by the SEC. Jimmy Gale Watson was also named in the complaint. He was described as McAfee’s “bodyguard” and had helped McAfee with the schemes.
McAfee’s actions violated Sections 17 (a) and (b), Securities Act 1933, as well as Section 10 (b), Securities Exchange Act 1934. According to the SEC, McAfee’s actions violated Sections 17(a) and (b) of the Securities Act 1933, and Section 10 (b) of the Securities Exchange Act 1934.
Audrey Strauss (the Southern District of New York attorney) later stated in a press statement: “McAfee and Watson and other members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency team allegedly raked more than $13,000,000 from investors they victimized by their fraudulent schemes.” Investors should be cautious about investment opportunities that are promoted on social media.
McAfee was also charged by U.S. officials with tax evasion and failure to file tax returns in the period 2014-2018. McAfee was also accused of hiding assets, including a yacht.
If convicted of all charges in the June Indictment, the tech entrepreneur could spend up to 30 years in prison.
McAfee made no secret of his inability to pay taxes. McAfee, an anti-virus tycoon, stated that he was being accused of lying about his tax returns in a tweet. He added that he had not filed any returns for many years and made no secret. How could I lie if I said nothing?
“My real crime is talking publicly about the madness that runs through our government,”
McAfee called cryptocurrency “our last hope of financial independence” in a May 24, post, and also called the charges against McAfee “absolutely absurd” in another.