John McAfee Arrested in Spain on US Criminal Charges

John McAfee allegedly received $11.6 million in bitcoin and ether for pumping ICOs in 2017 and 2018.

Oct 5, 2020 at 8:21 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:04 a.m. UTC

John McAfee, the 74-year-old software magnate-turned-crypto-bull, has been arrested in Spain on allegations of tax evasion, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. His extradition to the U.S. is pending.

  • On Monday DOJ prosecutors unsealed a criminal indictment against McAfee, who faces charges of tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns that could land him behind bars for over five years, if convicted.
  • The announcement comes the same day the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued McAfee for allegedly pumping initial coin offerings (ICOs) without disclosing he was being paid to do so.
  • McAfee allegedly received BTC and ETH worth more than $11.6 million for promoting seven ICOs in 2017 and 2018.
  • He also allegedly received $11.5 million in the promoted tokens. The SEC does not name the projects in the suit.
  • The SEC outlined the securities violations in a 55-page complaint filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • According to the SEC, McAfee raised a total of $23.2 million from projects which raised a cumulative $41 million.
  • “McAfee's extravagant posts (such as tweeting predictions about BTC price increases and promising to 'eat my d**k on national television' if such predictions did not pan out) … generated an enormous amount of publicity,” the SEC said in its complaint.
  • The SEC is seeking civil penalties and an order prohibiting McAfee from serving as a public officer again in future.
  • The SEC also sued McAfee's personal security guard, Jimmy Gale Watson, in the complaint.

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