John McAfee, founder of the software company McAfee Associations (and the software that still bears his name), has been indicted on fraud and money-laundering conspiracy charges, according to Reuters. His bodyguard, Jimmy Gale Watson Jr., is also in trouble.
The United States Attorneys Office Southern District of New York posted a press release with more information. It should be noted that they described the crimes in their press release are described as “alleged”.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, McAfee and Watson exploited a widely used social media platform and enthusiasm among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception. The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives. McAfee, Watson, and other members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency team allegedly raked in more than $13 million from investors they victimized with their fraudulent schemes. Investors should be wary of social media endorsements of investment opportunities.”
Reuters also reported that both McAfee and Watson face civil charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which in October accused McAfee of concealing more than $23.1 million he made from boosting seven cryptocurrencies on Twitter.
One thing to take from this situation is that it is never a good idea to post the crimes you, and your team, are allegedly doing, on your Twitter account.