The former bodyguard of John McAfee has pleaded not guilty in a $13 million cryptocurrency fraud case. Jimmy Gale Watson Jr. is currently facing a seven-count indictment, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud and substantive wire fraud. McAfee had hired Watson in 2017 to be his private bodyguard. The decorated former Navy Seal rose up the ranks, becoming one of the executives behind the McAfee Team.
John McAfee’s team was allegedly using social media for pump and dump schemes.
A digital currency team founded by the antivirus software innovator, John McAfee, purported to give investors tips and advice on the best projects to invest in. The team was allegedly using social media for pump and dump schemes. The U.S. Justice Department unsealed an indictment against the pair for two schemes in which they were accused of promoting junk projects and ICO projects without disclosing they were receiving payments to do this. They would also buy these tokens beforehand, and once they shot up in price, they would dump them and crash their markets, investigators said.
Watson has pleaded not guilty to the seven charges against him.
John McAfee’s team made at least $2 million, according to the Justice Department. Their biggest revenue stream was through promoting junk ICO projects, earning them $11 million, authorities said. According to the Law360 report, Watson has pleaded not guilty to the seven charges against him before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Fox in a New York Federal court. The SEC and the CFTC have also filed civil charges against Watson and his former boss, who is currently in jail in Spain. The DoJ charged him and McAfee with one conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud, which carries a five-year sentence; one count of conspiracy to commit securities and touting fraud carries a similar sentence.