John McAfee, the crypto proponent known for security software, is in extradition custody in Spain. He was arrested at the behest of U.S. authorities, who accuse him of tax evasion and millions in revenue for unmarked advertising at ICOs.
At the turn of the year 2017/18, when the price of Bitcoin (BTC) reached its all-time high of USD 20,000, which is still valid today, the cryptoscene was in a gold-digger mood. In weekly cycles new crypto currencies were brought on the market by means of ICO and millions were collected also for windy projects. From the boom at that time John McAfee probably profited mightily, but in retrospect he got into big trouble now. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accuses him in an indictment of having generated at least 23 million US dollars in revenue by paying for surreptitious advertising around seven ICOs. At the same time, the US Department of Justice also goes against John McAfee and writes in a press release that McAfee was arrested in Spain. He is to be extradited to the USA, where he is facing trial for tax evasion on a grand scale.
John McAfee in the sights of the US authorities
John McAfee made his first fortune with the computer security software company named after himself, which he sold in the late 1990s. Early on he became involved with Bitcoin and Co. and predicted that BTC’s share price would reach $1 million by the end of 2020 – otherwise he would “eat his own penis”. The McAfee lifestlye, in which pretty much all the elements for a Hollywood film are gathered together, from drugs to women and accusations of murder to successful entrepreneurship, also attracted attention time and again.
The SEC starts its accusations against McAfee right away with the reference to “hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter”. He systematically deceived them by using his reach to advertise ICOs from November 2017 to February 2018 without any indication of payment for doing so. In addition, there is further surreptitious advertising for investment strategies in the crypto industry. The SECV neatly lists McAfee’s income for this, which should come from at least seven different parties, each in connection with an ICO. Accordingly, about half was paid in the new coins and half in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). McAfee is said to have received the equivalent of a good 23 million US dollars for a total of around three dozen tweets. The SEC now wants to put McAfee and his assistant Jimmy Watson before a jury. It is demanding fines, compensation and a business ban for McAfee.
The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, supported by the US Department of Justice and tax authorities, wants to see McAfee behind bars. They accuse him of tax evasion in five cases and of failing to file tax returns. McAfee is said to have systematically booked income into the accounts of straw men from 2014 to 2018 and also concealed considerable amounts in crypto-currencies, the investment report says. In addition, he had intentionally registered luxury goods such as a yacht and an estate in foreign names with the intent to deceive. For these offences he faces long prison sentences. According to the official information, McAfee was arrested in Spain and is now to be extradited to the USA.
Conclusion: John McAfee highlights ICO bubble
From the point of view of the crypto industry, the accusations against McAfee by the SEC are particularly explosive. It has not yet been revealed which ICOs and Altcoins the notorious McAfee is said to have worked with. And also the so-called ICO bubble has long since burst. But in a public trial, even the most juicy details are likely to become known, showing how many people have made money with air.
McAfee – as far as is known – has not yet spoken out. His Twitter account now has almost 15 million followers, but has been orphaned since Friday. His future prospects do not seem rosy, the accusations are massive.
Just last week in the USA they took tough action against those responsible for the BitMEX crypto exchange and so the suspicion is pressing: The American justice and financial supervision attaches itself now also prominent ones from the crypto industry. At least temporarily even the entire market could be disconcerted by it.
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