SEC dismisses claims against John McAfee, fines accomplice for ICO promo

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) obtained the final judgment for an initial coin offering (ICO) promotion scheme against late entrepreneur John McAfee and accomplice Jimmy Gale Watson, Jr., filed on October 5, 2020. 

In the original complaint, the SEC alleged that McAfee and Watson promoted ICO investments on Twitter without disclosing that they were paid for them. Watson allegedly assisted McAfee in negotiating promotional deals with ICO issuers and cashing out the crypto payments, among other pump-and-dump charges.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found Watson guilty of violating the law and imposed a cumulative fine of $375,934.86. In addition, Watson has been barred from participating in ICO-related issuance, purchase, offer or sale. The litigation states:

“However, that such injunction shall not prevent Watson from purchasing or selling securities for his own personal accounts.”

Providing closure to the impending case, the SEC’s claims against McAfee were dismissed after the Commission filed a notice of death for the infamous entrepreneur.

Related: US Treasury calls for public comment on digital asset policy, following Biden’s executive order

The U.S. Treasury sought input from the public to include in reporting to the president on the possible implications of digital assets on finance and payment infrastructures. Sharing his views on the matter, Nellie Liang, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance stated:

“For consumers, digital assets may present potential benefits, such as faster payments, as well as potential risks, including risks related to frauds and scams.”

Therefore, Liang hopes to gain input from Americans and market participants to understand better the impacts of mainstreaming crypto assets.



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