The cybersecurity mogul and former presidential candidate faces a variety of charges brought by the US Department of Justice, according to the recently unveiled indictment.
The Justice Department statement – published on Friday – said that McAfee is accused of a group of crimes “stemming from two schemes related to the fraudulent promotion of investors in cryptocurrencies that qualify under federal law as commodities or securities.”
These charges range from “conspiracy to commit fraud in commodities and securities” to “crimes of conspiracy to launder money” in addition to a series of previous charges related to alleged tax evasion.
Manhattan Attorney General Audrey Strauss said McAfee and a colleague “alleged that they raised more than $ 13 million from investors” through a variety of means related to cryptocurrency (the so-called “pump and dump” scheme) and unannounced agreements to promote specific currencies for compensation.
“The defendants allegedly used the McAfee Twitter account to spread messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers promoting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading data to conceal their true motives,” Strauss said.
If convicted, McAfee faces the maximum possible prison sentence, up to life in prison.
McAfee has more than a million followers on Twitter and remains active on the social media platform, although he is currently imprisoned in Spain on previous tax evasion charges.
In his profile, McAfee described himself as “a fighter of beliefs, a lover of women, adventure and mystery.”