The dying of John McAfee, the pc virus tech entrepreneur, in jail has sparked search queries about his life and alleged involvement with cryptocurrency fraud.
McAfee was found dead in a Barcelona jail cell on June 23. He was 75 years outdated.
His death got here simply hours after a Spanish courtroom agreed to ship McAfee to the U.S., the place he was because of face prices associated to tax evasion.
McAfee was arrested in Spain in October 2020 whereas making an attempt to board a flight from Barcelona to Istanbul.
A Securities and Change Fee (SEC) grievance, filed October 5, 2020, accused McAfee of getting “leveraged his fame” on Twitter to make over $23 million by pushing no less than seven preliminary coin choices, or ICOs, for which he was paid.
An ICO is basically a fundraising marketing campaign utilized by cryptocurrency builders to get new tokens off the bottom. It’s a variation of an preliminary public providing (IPO) used within the inventory market.
They work by asking individuals to ship cash to the builders in return for a few of the new cryptocurrency that they’re making.
The SEC grievance accused McAfee of constructing ICO suggestions that “had been materially false and deceptive” for numerous causes, together with that he didn’t disclose he was being paid to advertise the ICOs and falsely claimed to be an investor when recommending them.
The SEC stated McAfee was paid in bitcoin and ether for his function in pushing the ICOs, and in addition obtained round $11.5 million value of promoted tokens. The grievance additionally named Jimmy Gale Watson, who it described as McAfee’s “bodyguard,” and stated Watson had assisted McAfee within the schemes.
McAfee’s actions violated Sections 17(a) and (b) of the Securities Act 1933, and Part 10 (b) of the Securities Change Act 1934. The SEC stated it needed the defendants to surrender their income and pay further penalties.
Audrey Strauss, the lawyer for the Southern District of New York, later stated in a press launch: “McAfee, Watson, and different members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency staff allegedly raked in additional than $13 million from traders they victimized with their fraudulent schemes. Traders needs to be cautious of social media endorsements of funding alternatives.”
Individually, McAfee was additionally indicted by U.S. officers on June 15, 2020 for tax evasion and alleged failure to file tax returns between the years of 2014 and 2018. He was additionally accused of hiding property together with a yacht.
The tech entrepreneur confronted as much as 30 years in jail if he was convicted of all the costs talked about within the June indictment.
McAfee had made no secrets and techniques of his unwillingness to pay taxes. In a tweet on October 16, 2020, the anti-virus tycoon stated he was accused of mendacity on his tax returns however added: “I’ve filed no returns for a few years and have made no secret of it. If I’ve stated nothing, how might I’ve lied?
“My actual crime is talking publicly in regards to the madness rampant inside our authorities.”
McAfee additionally referred to as cryptocurrencies “our final hope for monetary independence” in a Might 24 publish and in addition referred to as the costs in opposition to him “completely ridiculous” in one other.