Bitcoin advocate John McAfee – the creator of the world’s biggest antivirus software – has been arrested in Spain. He has been charged with negligence and failing to file tax returns while living in the United States. To add insult to injury, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is suing McAfee over several phony cryptocurrency giveaways.
McAfee Is Facing the Dirt
McAfee has been one of the most controversial figures throughout the entire cryptocurrency space. He has often taken quite a bit of flack for claiming that bitcoin would reach a price of $1 million per unit by the end of 2020. He further stated that if this didn’t occur, he would eat his own genitalia.
Well, it looks like bitcoin won’t be hitting this number this year. In fact, it hasn’t even come close, but McAfee has sought to cover his tracks by claiming the entire thing was only a joke, and that traders were wrong for ever taking him seriously.
McAfee has also caused a stir by claiming that he would run for president of the United States while in exile in Cuba. The antivirus mogul had taken to living in the communist country after purposely refusing to file income tax returns, claiming that collecting such funds was unconstitutional. It looks like these words are catching up with him. At the time of writing, it’s unclear if or when he will be extradited back to the U.S.
But the biggest blow to McAfee’s ego is likely coming from the SEC, which has filed a 55-page complaint against him. The organization claims that McAfee made false statements about cryptocurrency offerings and token sales and utilized his “celebrity” status to garner more than $23 million for himself. It is believed that McAfee may have promoted as many as seven individual initial coin offerings (ICOs). McAfee has allegedly failed to disclose how much money he was set to earn from these offerings, which the SEC is taking issue with.
In a statement, the government body explained:
Promoting a security without disclosing that you are paid to do is unlawful ‘touting’ and violates federal security laws.
Some Fraudulent Activity on Record?
In addition, while he was reportedly hired for his technical expertise to help with these promotions, the SEC claims that he instead was paid to place false or phony promotions on Twitter to garner followers. He is also accused of, at some point, holding plenty of phony tokens and then working to promote interest in the tokens online so that he could sell them and make off with the funds.
The action from the SEC comes in the form of a civil lawsuit. Regarding the other charges, it looks like McAfee did not file income tax returns between the years of 2014 and 2018. If found guilty, McAfee faces up to five years in prison, as well as hefty monetary penalties.