The Securities and Exchange Commission today named in a final compliance judgment against Jimmy Gale Watson, Jr., a business partner of John McAfee, Concerning his alleged involvement in an ICO scam.
In October 2020, McAfee was taken into custody by Spanish authorities. According to a complaint the SEC filed, McAfee invented the antivirus industry. Watson aided them, but they didn’t reveal they were getting paid. Advocated investing in ICOs.
The agency claims that Watson assisted McAfee in negotiating the promo agreements with ICO issuers. He also assisted McAfee in receiving cryptocurrency payments.
The SEC also charged McAfee and Watson with participating in pump-and-dump scams. They covertly built up sizable stakes in Bitcoin, marketed it on Twitter, and planned to sell it as its value increased.
SEC permanently bans Waston from offering digital assets
Watson was completely barred from buying, selling, and offering digital assets in any form for business. In addition, it imposes a fine of $316,401.48 and prejudgment interest of $59,533.38 for a total of approximately $375,000.
As per the notice, Watson can still acquire and sell digital assets for his personal accounts.
In a Notice of Death, the court also rejected McAfee. Watson was not covered by the court’s decision to dismiss; only McAfee was.
In March 2021, McAfee stated that the SEC’s “allegations were overstated.” He was discovered dead in a Spanish prison three months later, apparently by suicide, though his family disputes this claim.
After being charged with evading taxes and advocating seven initial coin offerings (ICOs), which U.S. authorities referred to as “pump-and-dump” operations and which reportedly brought in more than $23 million for McAfee, he went on the run for several months.
Nevertheless, according to the author of McAfee’s biography, No Domain: The John McAfee tapes, the software developer was penniless when he passed away.