According to information from Reuters news agency, American entrepreneur John McAfee was arrested in Spain. The US government has filed an extradition request against the 75-year-old. He is accused of tax evasion and promoting unregistered securities. Corresponding indictments from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the US Department of Justice were released after McAfee’s arrest.
The SEC accuses McAfee of having advertised several Initial Coin Offerings on Twitter. He failed to inform his followers that he received money for it. According to the SEC, McAfee has violated the US federal securities law. The indictment relates to seven ICOs that McAfee allegedly promoted illegally.
The ICOs touted by McAfee raised at least about $ 41 million, and McAfee made about $ 23.2 million in secret compensation for his calls. When asked directly whether he was paid for these promotions, McAfee lied to investors by falsely denying that he was paid by the issuers.
McAfee allegedly misled Twitter followers
In addition to he his Twitter followers consciously astray led by he made false statements about his participation in the advertised he projects.
McAfee falsely claimed that he was an investor and / or technical advisor when recommending multiple ICOs, creating the impression that he had screened those companies, that they were benefiting from his technical expertise, and that he was willing to put his own money into the Investing projects. In reality, McAfee’s tweets were paid promotions disguised as impartial investment advice.
The SEC classifies most tokens as securities. Their sale to Americans is therefore – like a classic IPO of a company – strictly regulated.
Up to 30 years in prison for tax evasion
McAfee is also said to have evaded taxes – an accusation that the IT entrepreneur is not facing for the first time. The US Department of Justice published an indictment in October that was drawn up in June and kept under lock and key until he was arrested.
The DoJaccuses him of two things. In the period from 2014 to 2018, he is said to have earned a multi-million dollar income and to have cheated the tax authorities out of their share. He is said to have hidden his fortune through bank accounts and crypto-exchange accounts that belonged to confidants. McAfee is also said to have withheld material assets such as real estate and a yacht from the US tax authorities. Overall, McAfee is said to have been guilty of tax evasion in five cases. He faces a maximum of five years‘ imprisonment in each case.
That McAfee failed to file a tax return during this period is the DoJ’s second count. The law provides for a maximum penalty of one year per willfully “missed tax return” for the offense. Fines can also be added to both counts.