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.
There is perhaps no need to bore you with past details because by now all of you likely know the saga of John McAfee, the creator of McAfee anti-virus. He has been living on an island along the coast of Belize for the past five years, but recently ran into a bit of trouble there. McAfee hasn’t actually been charged with murder, contrary to what many assume. He is simply wanted for questioning, although the implications are there.
While on the run for the past few weeks in his adopted homeland, McAfee has kept an active blog which is entertaining and sometimes quite strange. In fact, the blog is now pushing a “Boycott Belize” promotion.
This week he surfaced across the border in Guatamala where he filmed a video that was posted to YouTube. He was also arrested there and is being held in prison, from which he is still blogging.
“I am in jail in Guatemala. Vastly superior to Belize jails. I asked for a computer and one magically appeared. The coffee is also excellent.”
“I just spoke with the duty officer at the Embassy who said there is nothing that they can do. I asked to be returned to the States, and again … nothing they can do.”
“I’ve been reading posts (There’s no TV here). One poster asked, in a kindly way, whether I felt like killing myself. My reply: “I enjoy living, and suicide is absurdly redundant. The world, from the very begining, hurls viruses, accidents, hungry animals, defective DNA — and uncountable more – in an attempt to kill us. It always succeeds. Suicide is simply aiding and abetting.” My spirits are brighter.”
Where will this made-for-TV-movie plot twist to next? Given his ramblings it’s very hard to say. Is he guilty? I am not a judge or even an experienced legal analyst. Is all of this fascinating? There I can emphatically say YES!
Image: John McAfee Facebook page