Thursday, March 11, 2021

Creator of McAfee Antivirus Charged With Cryptocurrency Fraud

Known to many as the creator of the famed McAfee antivirus software, John McAfee has recently been charged by US authorities with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.

In general, the charges have to do with McAfee’s alleged involvement in two cryptocurrency schemes. Firstly, prosecutors claim that McAfee and his team bought a whole bunch of cryptocurrency assets called altcoins and then hyped them on Twitter, where McAfee has currently over a million followers.

As the market value of these altcoins rose, McAfee and his team allegedly sold them at higher prices, raking in over US$2 million (~RM8.2 million) in profits. This has been described as a “pump and dump” scheme. Court documents pointed out that “the long-term value of the recommended altcoins purchased by investors declined substantially as of a year after the promotional tweets.”

On another hand, prosecutors have also accused McAfee and his team of promoting the assets of cryptocurrency startups on Twitter without disclosing to investors that they were being paid to do so. Through this particular scheme, McAfee and his team allegedly pocketed over US$11 million (~RM45.1 million).

In 1987, McAfee founded McAfee Associates, the company that famously produces antivirus software, but resigned in 1994. Intel then bought the firm in 2011 before spun it off in 2017 but despite all that, McAfee the company and its products still bear the name of McAfee the man until today even though he no longer works for the firm for more than two decades.

The new cryptocurrency indictment is just the latest addition to a long list of controversy under John McAfee’s name which include a murder case and several attempts to become the U.S president. He is currently being held in Spain while waiting to be extradited to the U.S for tax evasion.

1 comment:

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