A former navy seal and bodyguard to the banged-up abroad McAfee antivirus software founder, John McAfee, has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he was involved in two wholesale crypto scams that duped investors out of roughly $13 million.
Jimmy Gale Watson Jr, the former executive advisor of the “McAfee Team” — a website offering crypto tips endorsed by John McAfee, was arrested in Texas on March 4. Watson faces charges of allegedly defrauding investors through cryptocurrency scams, money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud.
In a March 5 indictment, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss asserted:
“McAfee, Watson, and other members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency team allegedly raked in more than $13 million from investors they victimized with their fraudulent schemes.”
John McAfee is currently in prison in Spain, where he was arrested for tax evasion in October 2020. The U.S. government is currently seeking McAfee’s extradition so he can face a litany of charges including failing to submit tax returns for 2014 to 2018 while earning millions from “promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.”
Watson is accused of being involved in a series of altcoin “pump and dump” schemes during 2017 and early 2018. The indictment claims The McAfee Team purchased large sums of altcoins at low price points before endorsing them publicly to McAfee’s hundreds of thousands of Twitter with misleading information. Once retail investors had pushed prices up in response to McAfee’s tweets, the group would then secretively dump the coins.
McAfee recently bragged on Twitter that Dogecoin was one of the altcoins he had publicly endorsed.
The pair are also accused of publicly touting initial coin offerings via McAfee’s Twitter account while “concealing that the ICO issuers were compensating McAfee and his team for his promotional tweets with a substantial portion of the funds raised from ICO investors.”
Legendary Trader Peter Brandt Challenges Binance with Four Questions about 88% BTC Crash
Here’s what is unclear for Mr. Brandt about mysterious Bitcoin (BTC) flash-crash of Oct. 21, 2021
Prominent trader and analyst Peter Brandt has taken to Twitter to ask his four questions in the context of the flagship crypto’s 88% dropdown.
What do Binance and Binance.US have in common?
First of all, Mr. Brandt challenged the character of corporate relationships between Binance and Binance.US, its unit focused on American markets.
1. What is exact corp. relationship @binance w/ @BinanceUS
2. Will firm release T&S with all trades/volume/price?
3. Did firm take opposite side of client fills
4. Will firm change low to reflect actual fills
cc: @GaryGensler @CFTC @SECGov @cz_binance @IBKR pic.twitter.com/huqzZbSGIt— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) October 24, 2021
Also, Mr. Brandt asks whether Binance is planning to release detailed documents to specify statistics for trades, their volume and prices during the flash-crash.
Then, the trading legend asked about the role of the platform in taking the opposite side of a client fills.
Besides the Binance CEO and co-founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Mr. Brandt mentioned the Interactive Brokers platform, U.S. watchdogs CFTC and SEC and Gary Gensler, the SEC chairman.
Most expensive “trading algorithm bug” ever?
Also, Mr. Brandt attached a screenshot of a tweet by CZ when Binance’s boss warned his audience about expected volatility spikes across cryptocurrency markets.
Finally, Mr. Brandt added that he never used Binance for trading.
As covered by U.Today previously, on Oct. 21, 2021, amidst a spending rally, the Bitcoin (BTC) price briefly tanked to the $8,000 level, losing more than 88% in no time.
A similar flash-crash was registered on 26 other low-liquidity exchanges. A Binance.US representative attributed this dramatic plunge to a critical bug in third-party mechanisms by one of the platform’s sophisticated institutional clients.
Crypto investments a financial backup for Facebook whistleblower
Haugen worked as a Facebook product manager before accusing the company of spreading controversial and insensitive misinformation. She allegedly possesses numerous confidential research documents, which, according to her, shows that “Facebook prioritizes profit over the well-being of children and all users.” Previously, Facebook has been accused of influencing the 2016 United States presidential election with the help of Russian agencies.
In a follow-up interview with The New York Times, Haugen was asked about her financial situation:
“For the foreseeable future, I’m fine, because I did buy crypto at the right time.”
The whistleblower also received financial help from nonprofit organizations (NPO) backed by Pierre Omidyar, a co-founder of eBay. However, Haugen clarified that Omidyar’s NPO fundings were only used to finance travel and related expenses.
According to Haugen, shifting to Puerto Rico helped her join her “crypto friends” who enjoy capital tax exemptions on Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency assets.
Iconic whistleblower and former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency agent Edward Snowden also continues to show support for the Bitcoin economy amid regulatory pressures from governments across the world.
On Oct. 4, Snowden tweeted about Bitcoin’s tenfold growth despite China’s blanket ban on crypto mining and trading.
Sometimes I think back to this and wonder how many people bought #Bitcoin then.
It's up ~10x since, despite a coordinated global campaign by governments to undermine public understanding of—and support for—cryptocurrency.
China even banned it, but it just made Bitcoin stronger. https://t.co/pbnOFGfaVf— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 3, 2021
Binance Bitcoin Balances Are Draining: 40,000 BTC Moved Away from Biggest Crypto Exchange
According to CryptoQuant data, Binance cryptocurrency exchange once again faced a massive fund outflow totaling 38,246 BTC. After a significant drop in the Bitcoin balance, the total balance on the sheets is close to 500,000.
In-house redistribution of funds
Previously, Binance.US faced a major bug that led to so-called “slippage”—the difference between the expected price of a trade and the actual execution of an order.
Whenever the order book on the market is too thin and an exchange cannot provide enough liquidity, volatility on the asset tends to rise exponentially, which leads to a massive drop in value.
Due to the bug that appeared, the price of Bitcoin on Binance.US has dropped to $8,000, with numerous buy orders being executed on the way down. In order to provide more liquidity to the market on Binance.US, the main platform could have moved some of its funds to the U.S.-targeted platform, which is being counted by on-chain metrics as “outflows.”
With Bitcoin moving past the previous ATH and trading volumes remaining stable, some traders and investors are choosing to move their funds away from exchanges and keep them in their wallets.
According to volume metrics, no significant selling pressure has been present on centralized exchanges, along with no abnormal trading activities.
Previously, notable exchange inflows appeared back in May, when Bitcoin’s price retraced from the previous ATH to $29,000. Most retail investors have moved funds from their wallets to the exchanges to take profit.