NEW YORK (AP) – Anti-virus software entrepreneur McOn McAfee has been charged with fraud and money laundering, claiming he and his partners earned more than $ 13 million for a cryptocurrency market that would make jealous investors jealous, authorities said on Friday.
McAfee, 75, was charged in a recent Manhattan federal court indictment with Gale Watson Jr., who served as executive adviser in what prosecutors described as McAfee’s “so-called cryptocurrency team.”
Prosecutors say Watson, 40, was arrested Thursday night in Texas for “making a preliminary appearance before the Dallas Federal Magistrate’s Office on Friday.” Authorities say McAfee has been arrested in Spain on separate criminal charges filed by the US Department of Justice.
Attorney Arnold Spencer, who represents Watson, said his client is a decorated former Navy Seal.
“He has fought for the rights and freedoms of others, he has the right, he is looking forward to his day in court to exercise those rights,” he said in an email.
“Criminal indictments are dumb tools, not clear scalps,” Spencer added. “This is not the right place to discuss whether cutting-edge technologies like cryptocurrencies are stocks, commodities or anything else.”
It was not immediately clear who might represent McAfee. He did not yet have a lawyer in Memphis, the federal court in the state of Tennessee, where tax charges were filed against him in October.
“McAfee և Watson used the widely used social media platform ությունը to develop enthusiasm among investors in the cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception,” said US attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement describing the 2017-2018 crimes.
“The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to post messages to hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers who, through false, misleading statements, inflated various cryptocurrencies to disguise their true, self-interested motives,” he added.
In Tennessee in October, McAfee was charged with tax evasion for failing to disclose cryptocurrency advertising revenue while advising, making colloquial commitments to sell his life story rights to a documentary.
McAfee has developed an early security software that was previously sought after by US authorities in Belize.
The Tennessee indictment alleges that McAfee failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, despite receiving “significant revenue” from several sources.
In July 2019, McAfee was released from custody in the Dominican Republic after five people were suspected of traveling in a yacht carrying high-caliber weapons, ammunition and military uniforms, Caribbean officials said at the time.