John McAfee's Security Guard Pleads Not Guilty to Crypto Fraud Charges

Jimmy Gale Watson Jr. was indicted with his controversial tech entrepreneur boss earlier this month.

Mar 23, 2021 at 11:07 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. UTC

John McAfee's personal security guard, accused of conspiring with his boss in a crypto fraud case, has pleaded not guilty.

  • Jimmy Gale Watson Jr., who was indicted earlier this month with the controversial tech entrepreneur, entered his plea in a filing with U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Fox in the Southern District of New York on Monday.
  • He is alleged by the U.S. Department of Justice to have duped cryptocurrency investors out of more than $13 million with McAfee, who is also being charged with several counts of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
  • The defendants allegedly used McAfee's Twitter account to tout various digital currencies, driving up their value before selling them.
  • They are claimed to have used misleading statements and to have not disclosed they were paid for the promotions.
  • The "pump and dump" scheme, according to prosecutors, banked McAfee and Watson more than $2 million in profit while their recommended altcoins declined substantially in value.
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) brought separate charges, filing for injunctive relief and civil penalties.
  • McAfee was arrested in Spain in October on separate tax charges and awaits extradition to the U.S.
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