The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has cracked its whip on “pump-and-dump” crypto schemes. Such fraudulent designs came to the fore in the Jimmy Gale Watson and John David McAfee case. The court ordered Watson to pay $144,736 in ill-gotten gains which he allegedly received from the scheme. He has been banned from trading derivatives and registering with the CFTC.
The CFTC in an official statement highlighted that ensuring appropriate customer protections and enforcing against fraudulent schemes are core principles deeply embedded in the agency’s legal and regulatory framework, history and ethos. It said such fraudulent and manipulative schemes are egregious when they target the most vulnerable market participants – hardworking retail investors.
McAfee and Watson were first charged in March 2021 for secretly accumulated positions in digital assets. They deceptively promoted the tokens on social media as valuable long-term investments. Moreover, both were alleged of selling for a substantial profit. This resulted in profits in excess of $2million. It involved tokens, including Dogecoin (DOGE), Verge (XVG) and reddcoin (RDD).
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) won a judgement against Watson, last Thursday, for his role in McAfee’s alleged initial coin offering (ICO). The agency fined him $375,000 for his alleged participation. Now Watson is banned from participating directly or indirectly, in the issuance, purchase, offer or sale of any digital asset regarded a security.