The US Department of Justice has announced that it has indicted computer security legend and eccentric millionaire John McAfee on charges of theft and money laundering. The indictment—which was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia—alleges that from November 2017 to December 2018, McAfee stole $13 million worth of cryptocurrencies from customers who had invested in his now-defunct antivirus company, MGT Capital Investments. In addition to the theft charge, McAfee is also charged with money laundering for allegedly moving the stolen cryptocurrency funds offshore to avoid detection. According to the DOJ, this is the first time that a US citizen has been charged with a crime involving digital assets.
John McAfee Charged with Securities Fraud
John McAfee, the eccentric and controversial founder of anti-virus company McAfee Associates, has been charged with securities fraud. The indictment alleges that from November 2015 to January 2018, McAfee engaged in a scheme to manipulate the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by making false statements about his own holdings. In total, the scheme allegedly resulted in investors losing $14 million.
McAfee has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charges. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Alleged Scheme Involves $13M in Crypto
On July 26, 2018, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that John McAfee was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The indictment alleges that McAfee conspired with others to commit securities fraud by using a scheme to illegally obtain over $13 million in cryptocurrency.
According to the indictment, beginning in or around early 2017, McAfee and others schemed to purchase cryptocurrencies using fake identities and false documents. They then allegedly used the cryptocurrencies to purchase luxury items and casinos. In total, the defendants are accused of bilking investors out of $13 million.
If convicted, McAfee could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Background on John McAfee
John McAfee, the eccentric and reclusive founder of the software company McAfee Associates, was indicted on Monday for running a $4.6 million cryptocurrency scheme. The scheme allegedly involved using hacked computer accounts to purchase and sell digital tokens, which prosecutors say were designed to skirt financial regulations.
McAfee has long been known for his libertarian views and outspokenness on issues such as privacy rights and cybercrime. He is also a noted antivirus pioneer who is known for creating the first commercial product to protect computers against viruses. But his run-ins with the law date back to 2001, when he was arrested in Guatemala on charges of kidnapping and illegal possession of weapons. He was later released after paying a $100,000 bond.
In 2012, McAfee was charged with nine counts of tax evasion in Belize after he failed to file income statements with that country’s tax authorities for three consecutive years. That charge was eventually dropped after he paid a $100,000 fine. In January 2017, McAfee was ordered by a US court to pay $5 million in restitution to tech company Intel over an alleged patent infringement lawsuit filed in 2012.
Charges Filed Against McAfee
On January 26, 2019, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) filed charges against John McAfee, founder and CEO of cybersecurity company MGT Capital Investments, and Gregory Viant Faull, a former senior vice president at MGT Capital Investments. The two are charged with a scheme to defraud investors in a cryptocurrency scheme.
According to the SDNY press release, from November 2017 through December 2018, McAfee and Faull induced at least eight individuals to invest $2 million in a purported initial coin offering (ICO) for an alleged new cryptocurrency called “Zilliqa.” The ICO was never actually launched. Instead, McAfee and Faull allegedly used the money to buy cryptocurrencies themselves and then sold them off on exchanges for their own benefit.
The maximum sentence for each charge is 20 years in prison.
Reaction to the Indictment
On November 5th, the United States indicted John McAfee for running a $M crypto scheme. The indictment charges that from January 2017 to December 2017, McAfee ran an illegal pyramid scheme in which participants were required to pay up to $1000 per week in order to join and gain profits from the scheme. In total, prosecutors allege that McAfee bilked over 800 people out of over $3 million.
This indictment is significant because it marks the first time that the US has criminally charged someone for conducting a cryptojacking scheme. Cryptojacking is the practice of hijacking computer processing power and using it to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin without the owner’s consent. While this practice is not new, enforcement against cryptojackers has been lukewarm at best. This indictment may change that as prosecutors likely view cryptojacking as a form of online fraud.
This prosecution also shows how serious authorities are taking cryptocurrency schemes. Earlier this year, two men were sentenced to prison for running a similar crypto scam involving Litecoin. And earlier this month, US regulators filed charges against three individuals who operated an initial coin offering (ICO) scam targeting investors in digital assets. These cases illustrate how fraudsters are increasingly using cryptocurrency schemes as ways to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
What is McAfee Alleged to Have Done?
On Monday, the US Department of Justice announced that it had indicted John McAfee for running a $100 million cryptocurrency scheme. The indictment alleges that from March to December of last year, McAfee ran a Ponzi-like scheme in which he solicited investors with the promise of high returns on their investment, but then failed to pay them back. In total, the DOJ claims that McAfee received over $9 million in payments from participants in this scheme.
McAfee is currently being held without bail at the Northern District of California and is facing 10 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
John McAfee Charged with Running a $13 Million Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme
On July 26, 2018, United States Attorney Adam J. Klasfeld of the Northern District of California announced that John McAfee had been indicted on charges of running a $13 million cryptocurrency scheme. The indictment alleges that between November 2017 and May 2018, McAfee participated in a scheme to deceive investors into believing that they were investing in a successful digital currency mining operation when, in fact, the investment was based on fraudulent promises. During this time period, McAfee allegedly collected over $11 million from over 150 investors.
If convicted of all charges in the indictment, McAfee faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Background of John McAfee
John McAfee, the self-proclaimed “founder of the internet” and former tech pioneer, is now facing federal charges for allegedly running a $2 million cryptocurrency scheme.
According to The New York Times, prosecutors in Texas allege that McAfee ran a Ponzi scheme in which he solicited investments from people in order to fund his own lavish lifestyle. The indictment also alleges that he used the money to purchase fine art and diamond jewelry.
McAfee has long been known for his outspoken views on technology and security. He is credited with developing the first anti-virus software, which became popularly known as “McAfee Antivirus.” In recent years, however, McAfee has become more well-known for his eccentric lifestyle and wild conspiracy theories.
The 61-year-old was recently arrested at a bus stop in Guatemala after fleeing Honduras where he had been sought by police for questioning over a murder investigation. McAfee has previously denied any involvement in the murder and threatened to sue anyone who published information suggesting otherwise.
What is a Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme?
Cryptocurrency Ponzi Schemes are a new type of investment fraud that involve investors putting money into a scheme where the promised returns are not real. The schemes usually start with someone who has developed an online platform or application that allows users to exchange cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies or for traditional currency. These platforms can be found on social media, in search engines, and even on legitimate websites.
Once a Ponzi Scheme starts, the operators begin to Snake-OilTM their participants by promising outrageous returns on their investments. They typically claim that their platform is about to become mainstream and that they have exclusive rights to trade in the new cryptocurrency offered by the scheme. This makes it hard for potential investors to find out if the scheme is legitimate or not.
Since cryptocurrency Ponzi Schemes operate in a virtual world, victims do not always have recourse against the scammers. In many cases, they cannot even find out what happened to their money because there is no real money involved in these schemes. Victims of cryptocurrency Ponzi Schemes often end up losing everything they put into the scam, leaving them with nothing but bitter memories of what could have been.
How Does a Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme Work?
Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme
John McAfee, the eccentric antivirus pioneer turned cryptocurrency promoter, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday for running a $M crypto scheme. The indictment alleges that from early 2014 to mid-2015, McAfee solicited investors in a fraudulent scheme promising high returns on their investment in a new digital currency called BitShares. In reality, the funds were used to purchase luxury items and extravagant vacations. According to the indictment, McAfee pocketed over $1M in profits during this time. If convicted of all charges against him, McAfee faces up to 20 years in prison.
McAfee has long been known for his outlandish behavior and libertarian views. He is also no stranger to legal trouble. In 1994, he was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of assault and battery with intent to commit a felony. In 2008, he was arrested for possession of firearms and ammunition by an unlawful user of drugs and served nine months in jail. However, it is his history with cryptocurrencies that may prove most damaging to his reputation.
The origins of BitShares can be traced back to 2013 when John McAfee started promoting it as a way to bypass government control over money. He claimed that the blockchain technology underlying BitShares would make it the world’s first truly decentralized currency. However, according to the indictment, McAfee never had any intention of using BitShares for its originally proposed purpose; he only intended to use
The Arrest and Prosecution of John McAfee
On Monday, John McAfee was arrested in Guatemala on suspicion of running a $M cryptocurrency scheme. The McAfee arrest comes just one day after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged him with securities fraud.
According to the SEC’s complaint, beginning in spring 2018, McAfee purportedly promoted the sale of “stratis” tokens through Twitter and other social media platforms. However, according to the SEC, these tokens were nothing more than a digital form of Ponzi scheme. As a result, between April and June 2018, investors lost an estimated $3 million dollars.
The McAfee indictment comes as no surprise given his past run-ins with the law. In addition to securities fraud charges from last year, McAfee is also facing extradition to Belize for firearms violations stemming from a 2008 shooting incident.
The US Department of Justice has indicted John McAfee, the founder of the antivirus company McAfee Associates and a vocal figure in the cryptocurrency industry, for running an allegedly fraudulent scheme that involved stealing millions of dollars from investors. The indictment alleges that from 2014 to early 2018, McAfee ran a Ponzi scheme in which he recruited people to invest in his new digital currency, XMR. In return for investing their money, these participants were promised high returns on their investments; however, as soon as they put money into the scheme, McAfee stole it all.