NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John McAfee, the antivirus software pioneer whose former company still bears his name, has been indicted on fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges stemming from two cryptocurrency schemes, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Friday.
Authorities accused McAfee and his bodyguard, Jimmy Gale Watson Jr, of exploiting McAfee’s large Twitter following to artificially inflate prices of “altcoins” through a pump-and-dump scheme, and concealing payments McAfee received
from startup businesses to promote initial coin offerings.
McAfee and his accomplices allegedly reaped more than $13 million from the schemes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed related civil charges concerning the alleged pump-and-dump scheme.
Lawyers for McAfee and Watson could not immediately be identified.
McAfee is being detained in Spain following his arrest there on tax evasion charges, which was announced in October, the Justice Department said. Watson was arrested on Thursday night, the department added.
Both also face civil charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which in October accused McAfee of concealing more than $23.1 million he made from…