Antivirus software creator John McAfee accused of misleading investors on cryptocurrency scheme

Antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee has been charged with fraud and conspiracy to launder money, alleging he and his cohorts made more than $13 million ($16.9 million) by misleading zealous investors on the emerging cryptocurrency market.

Mr McAfee, 75, was charged in a newly unsealed indictment in Manhattan federal court with Jimmy Gale Watson Jr, who served as an executive adviser to what prosecutors described as the “so-called team of cryptocurrency” by Mr. McAfee.

Prosecutors said Mr. Watson, 40, was arrested in Texas and will make a first appearance on Friday local time before a federal magistrate in Dallas.

Mr. McAfee, authorities said, is being held in Spain on separate criminal charges filed by the US Department of Justice’s tax division.

It is unclear who will represent the men.

“McAfee and Watson leveraged a widely used social media platform and the enthusiasm of investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception,” said U.S. attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement describing the crimes committed in 2017 and 2018.

In October, Mr. McAfee was charged in federal court with tax evasion after failing to report income from the promotion of cryptocurrencies while doing consultancy work, speaking engagements and selling rights. about his life story for a documentary.

Mr. McAfee developed the first internet security software and has been wanted by US and Belizean authorities in the past.

The indictment says Mr McAfee failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, despite receiving “substantial income” from a number of sources.

In July 2019, Mr McAfee was released from detention in the Dominican Republic after he and five other people were suspected of traveling on a yacht carrying high-caliber weapons, ammunition and military-style equipment, it said. at the time officials of the Caribbean nation.