Antivirus software program pioneer John McAfee was found dead in his jail cell in Spain on Wednesday, officers mentioned, shortly after a court docket accredited his extradition to the United States the place he was needed for tax evasion.
The 75-year-old was found dead in his cell in the Brians 2 penitentiary close to Barcelona “apparently from suicide”, a spokeswoman for the jail system in the northeastern Catalonia area mentioned.
A spokeswoman for the Catalan department of the authorized physique which oversees Spain’s courts, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), additionally confirmed that McAfee had been found dead in his cell at round 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) of an obvious suicide.
McAfee has been in jail in Spain since he was arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020, simply as he was about to board a flight to Istanbul.
He is alleged to have intentionally didn’t file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, regardless of incomes hundreds of thousands from consulting work, cryptocurrencies and promoting the rights to his life story.
If convicted, he might have confronted as much as 30 years in jail.
In a press release, Catalonia’s regional justice division mentioned solely that an investigation was opened after an unnamed 75-year-old inmate dealing with extradition to the United States was found dead in his cell on the jail.
“Guards and medical staff intervened immediately to perform resuscitation measures but doctors eventually certified his death,” the assertion added.
Spain’s National Court earlier on Wednesday mentioned it had accredited McAfee’s extradition to the United States.
The determination might nonetheless have been appealed and the extradition wanted approval from the Spanish cupboard.
According to the US extradition request filed in November and quoted in the ruling, McAfee earned greater than$12 million in 2014-18, however by no means filed a tax return.
“To conceal his income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service… the defendant ordered part of his income to be paid to straw men and placed property in their names,” it mentioned.
Since making a fortune in the Nineteen Eighties with the antivirus software program that also bears his identify, McAfee had turn out to be a self-styled cryptocurrency guru, claiming to make $2,000 a day.
McAfee in 1987 based the pc safety software program firm and ran it for seven years earlier than resigning.
His life after than grew to become a headline-grabbing mixture of controversies involving medicine, weapons and even homicide.
McAfee had multiple million followers on Twitter, the place he described himself as a “lover of women, adventure and mystery”.
In a tweet on June 16, he mentioned the US authorities believed he had “hidden crypto”.
“I wish I did,” he added. “My remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association. I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing.”
McAfee’s spouse Janice has lengthy complained that he was “not doing well” in jail and had confronted delays in getting “proper medical care” in jail in Spain.
“The US authorities are determined to have John die in prison,” she tweeted on Sunday.
“The media have continued to vilify him, per their narrative, and there is no hope for him ever having a fair trial in America,” she added.
McAfee made headlines after he moved to Belize and his neighbour in the Central American nation was mysteriously murdered in 2012, a criminal offense that continues to be unsolved.
Police in Belize needed to query McAfee — who claimed he was nowhere close to the sufferer on the evening he died — as an individual of curiosity in the case.
After the police found him dwelling with a 17-year-old woman and found a big arsenal of weapons in his dwelling, McAfee disappeared.
“I am not a madman,” mentioned the British-born former NASA programmer whose anti-virus firm was purchased by Intel in 2010.
“I am eccentric, gracious, attentive, kind, humorous. We humans are funny creatures.”
The dead neighbour’s household later filed a wrongful demise go well with towards McAfee and in 2019 a court docket in Florida found towards him, ordering him to pay the household greater than $25 million.
A documentary titled “Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee” launched in 2016 centered on his life in Belize.
McAfee was arrested in the United States for driving underneath the affect in 2015, solely to unsuccessfully run for US president the next yr.
His political stances included ramping up defenses towards cyberattacks from China and Russia, and ending the conflict on medicine.