Businessman John McAfee, creator of the McAfee antivirus software, has been charged in the United States with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.
Mr. McAfee and his bodyguard Jimmy Gale Watson J. are accused of promoting crypto currencies on Mr McAfee’s Twitter to raise prices.
The coins were then allegedly sold, earning millions of dollars, prosecutors said. The two men have not commented on the allegations.
Mr McAfee, 75, is in custody in Spain for other tax-related charges, which he denies and faces a possible release in the US.
Mr. Watson was arrested in Texas on Thursday, March 4.
“Jimmy Watson is a veteran and former member of the Navy Seal. He has fought for the rights and freedoms of other people, and he looks forward to the day of his trial to exercise some of those rights,” said his lawyer, Arnold Spencer.
The latest charges have been filed in federal court in Manhattan, New York. The couple is accused of buying crypto currency assets before promoting them on Twitter, where Mr. McAfee has more than a million followers.
They would then sell the assets as soon as McAfee’s promotions showed that prices were rising, according to the US Department of Justice and the Commerce Department.
The Department of Justice stated that: “McAfee Team members collectively earned more than $2 million in illicit profits from their altcoin scalping activities”.