Known to many as the creator of the famed McAfee antivirus software, John McAfee has recently been charged by US authorities with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.
In general, the charges have to do with McAfee’s alleged involvement in two cryptocurrency schemes. Firstly, prosecutors claim that McAfee and his team bought a whole bunch of cryptocurrency assets called altcoins and then hyped them on Twitter, where McAfee has currently over a million followers.
Much of the new allegations from the Feds are about my "coin of the day". For a few days in 2017 I chose coins I believed had value.
One of them was Doge – now being touted years later by Elon Musk. The coin has increased well over 1000% since I chose it.
Not a pump and dump.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) March 7, 2021
As the market value of these altcoins rose, McAfee and his team allegedly sold them at higher prices, raking in over US$2 million (~RM8.2 million) in profits. This has been described as a “pump and dump” scheme. Court documents pointed out that “the long-term value of the recommended altcoins purchased by investors declined substantially as of a year after the promotional tweets.”
On another hand, prosecutors have also accused McAfee and his team of promoting the assets of cryptocurrency startups on Twitter without disclosing to investors that they were being paid to do so. Through this particular scheme, McAfee and his team allegedly pocketed over US$11 million (~RM45.1 million).
BREAKING: Johnn McAffee & advisor of his cryptocurrency team indicted by @TheJusticeDept for fraud & money laundering.
Pump & dump scheme & hyping ICOs without disclosing stakes..
McAffee already detained in Spain. Advisor arrested in Tx.
— John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) March 5, 2021
In 1987, McAfee founded McAfee Associates, the company that famously produces antivirus software, but resigned in 1994. Intel then bought the firm in 2011 before it was spun off in 2017 but despite it all, McAfee the company and its products still bear the name of McAfee, the man until today even though he no longer works for the firm since more than two decades ago.
The new cryptocurrency indictment is just the latest addition to a long list of controversy under John McAfee’s name which includes a murder case and several attempts to become the U.S president. He is currently being held in Spain while waiting to be extradited to the U.S for tax evasion.