In a decision that agreed to dismiss the charges against the late former computer tycoon, a federal judge sided with the agency.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jimmy Gale Watson, Jr., a friend of the late John McAfee, was found guilty by final consent today for his alleged involvement in an initial coin offering (ICO) fraud.
The SEC filed a lawsuit in October 2020 after Spanish authorities detained McAfee, stating that the former leader in antivirus software had pushed investments in ICOs with Watson’s assistance without revealing that they were being paid to do so.
The agency claims that Watson aided McAfee by drafting the advertising agreements with the ICO issuers and supported McAfee in withdrawing the cryptocurrency money received.
Additionally, the SEC charged McAfee and Watson with pump and dump schemes, accusing them of secretly building up a sizeable position in a cryptocurrency and then publicizing it on Twitter to sell it as its value increased.
Waston Permanently Barred From Selling Digital Assets
Watson is permanently prohibited from purchasing, selling, or providing digital assets in a professional capacity. The final judgment against him imposes a punishment of $316,401.48 plus prejudgment interest of $59,533.38, for a total penalty of more than $375,000.
The notification states that Watson can still purchase and sell digital assets “for his accounts.”
In a Notice of Death it filed about McAfee, the agency’s lawsuit against the late computer magnate was likewise rejected by the court. The court ruled that the dismissal order did not cover Watson; only McAfee was.
McAfee stated that the SEC’s “allegations are overstated” in March 2021. He was discovered dead in a Spanish prison three months later, apparently by suicide, though his family disputes this theory.
After being accused of evading taxes and pushing seven initial coin offerings (ICOs) that U.S. authorities called “pump-and-dump” schemes and allegedly earned McAfee over $23 million, McAfee had been on the run for months.
However, McAfee was reportedly penniless when he passed away, according to the author of his biography, No Domain: The John McAfee Tapes.