Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment on Monday in opposition to John David McAfee, creator of the eponymous anti-virus software program, over expenses that he evaded taxes and willfully did not file tax returns.
The U.S. Justice Division introduced the fees shortly after the Securities and Alternate Fee revealed it had introduced civil expenses in opposition to McAfee, alleging that he revamped $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation from recommending seven cryptocurrency choices on Twitter that had been materially false and deceptive.
The indictment, filed beneath seal in June, was unsealed following his arrest in Spain the place the US is in search of to extradite him.
He’s alleged to have earned tens of millions in revenue from selling cryptocurrencies, in addition to by way of consulting work, talking engagements, and promoting the rights to his life story for a documentary. Regardless of this revenue, the Justice Division stated he did not file any tax returns from 2014 to 2018.
The SEC has alleged that from at the least November 2017 by way of February 2018, McAfee beneficial cryptocurrencies he was paid to advertise, whereas falsely denying such funds.
“McAfee leveraged his fame to make greater than $23.1 million in undisclosed compensation” by recommending at the least seven preliminary coin choices or ICOs to his Twitter followers, the SEC stated.
McAfee’s suggestions had been “materially false and deceptive,” in that he tried to promote “nearly nugatory” cryptocurrency tokens by encouraging traders to purchase the securities with out disclosing his personal holdings, the SEC alleged.
The SEC is in search of to impose on McAfee a civil penalty in addition to disgorgement of ill-gotten features, with curiosity. The company additionally desires to ban him completely from serving as an officer or director of any listed firm or any firm that recordsdata experiences to the company.
The SEC can be pursuing expenses in opposition to Jimmy Gale Watson, Jr., a bodyguard to McAfee, on expenses he aided and abetted the sale of the digital currencies, amongst different allegations.
“Potential traders in digital asset securities are entitled to know if promoters had been compensated by the issuers of these securities,” stated Kristina Littman, the SEC’s cyber unit chief. “McAfee, assisted by Watson, allegedly leveraged his fame to deceptively tout quite a few digital asset securities to his followers with out informing traders of his position as a paid promoter.”