Arrested tech entrepreneur John McAfee made illegal gains by “leveraging on his fame” to “sell” and promote cryptocurrencies that are “essentially worthless, US regulators said.
A BBC.com report further quoted US regulators saying that McAfee recommended “seven cryptocurrency offerings between 2017 and 2018 without disclosing that he was paid to do so.”
In the process, McAfee failed to pay his taxes, regulators say.
He was arrested in Spain o October 3 while trying to go to Istanbul, the US Justice Department said.
McAfee founded the tech security firm McAfee, which was eventually sold to Intel Corp. for several billions. The anti-virus software has yet to release a statement on the matter.
US prosecutors also alleged that McAfee earned millions “from consulting work” but still failed to pay his taxes.
Aside from promoting and recommending several crytocurrencies, McAfee was also earning from speaking engagements. He also reportedly sold the rights to his life story.
Aside from US Department of Justice, McAfee could also face civil charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which is reportedly readying civil charges against the tech entrepreneur.
McAfee, born in the UK, made headlines in the past; from trying to run for president to getting arrested and detained for trying to bring weapons to the Dominican Republic.
He also allegedly hid assets including cars, real estate, and a yacht, a Bloomberg report, quoting regulators, said.
McAfee is also being accused of “scalping.” This practice involves holding and accumulating digital securities and promoting these securities on social media. McAfee was said to promote digital securities via Twitter, but never disclosed that he plans to sell the said securities.
McAfee now awaits extradition to the US. The controversial tech entrepreneur could face a sentence of up to 30 years in prison if convicted.