Anti-virus creator John McAfee has been found dead in a Barcelona prison cell hours after a Spanish court agreed to extradite him to the US to face tax evasion charges.
The Catalan justice department said medics had tried to resuscitate John McAfee, but were not successful.
It added that “everything indicates” John McAfee had taken his own life.
A controversial figure in the tech world, John McAfee’s company released the first commercial anti-virus software.
McAfee VirusScan helped to spark a multi-billion dollar industry in the computer world, and was eventually sold to technology giant Intel for more than $7.6 billion.
In October 2020, John McAfee was arrested in Spain when he was about to board a plane to Turkey, and accused of failing to file tax returns for four years, despite earning millions from consulting work, speaking engagements, crypto-currencies and selling the rights to his life story.
The US justice department alleged that McAfee evaded tax liability by having his income paid into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts in the names of nominees.
John McAfee was also accused of concealing assets, including a yacht and real estate property, also in other people’s names.
Spain’s National Court authorized McAfee’s extradition to the US to face the charges on June 23.
In recent years, John McAfee had repeatedly claimed that there was a plot to get him – however the court said there was “no revealing evidence” that he was being prosecuted for political or ideological reasons, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
He had argued in a hearing earlier this month that the charges against him were politically motivated and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison if returned to the US.
Nishay Sanan, McAfee’s lawyer, said he had intended to fight all the charges.
The entrepreneur, who was born in Gloucestershire, England first came to prominence in the 1980s when he founded his tech company and released McAfee VirusScan.
He also launched unsuccessful bids to become the Libertarian Party’s candidate for the presidential elections in 2016 and 2020.
In 2019 McAfee expressed his disdain for taxes, tweeting that he had not filed tax returns for eight years because “taxation is illegal.”
In the same year John McAfee was briefly detained in the Dominican Republic for allegedly bringing weapons into the country.
John McAfee, the founder of anti-virus software maker McAfee, has been arrested in Guatemala, accused of entering the country illegally.
John McAfee, 67, crossed the border to seek political asylum, having been on the run in Belize where police are investigating the death of his neighbor.
Belize officials said the software pioneer was a “person of interest” in the murder of Florida businessman Gregory Faull on 11 November.
John McAfee has protested his innocence.
He says on his blog that he has been “harassed” by police, and that this was the reason he fled Belize. There is no international arrest warrant for multi-millionaire fugitive.
Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said John McAfee was arrested at a hotel in an affluent area of the capital, Guatemala City.
Appearing in public for the first time in weeks on Tuesday, John McAfee and his lawyer had said he would petition the Guatemalan government to stay there.
“Belize does not have a good track record of providing safety when they ask to question you. I felt much more secure crossing the border,” said John McAfee.
John McAfee, the founder of anti-virus software maker McAfee, has been arrested in Guatemala, accused of entering the country illegally
He reportedly checked into the five star Villa Real Hotel in Guatemala City earlier on Wednesday having sneaked out of Belize.
John McAfee revealed that in order to go unnoticed, he changed his appearance by dying his hair and beard, sticking chewed bubble gum to his upper gums to fatten his face and staining his teeth.
Gregory Faull was found dead with a single gunshot to the head on 11 November. His Belize home sits next to John McAfee’s compound on a tropical island.
The US software creator is known to have had a long-running row with Gregory Faull about the guard dogs he used to protect his compound.
He denies any involvement in the businessman’s death and says he went into hiding so he could stay close to his Belize home and conduct his own investigation into Gregory Faull’s death, adding that he had little faith that the island’s police would find the murderer.
In an interview with NBC, John McAfee offered a reward of $25,000 for the capture of the “person or persons” behind the killing.
John McAfee has led an eccentric life since he sold his stake in the anti-virus software company that bears his name in the early 1990s.
He moved to Belize about three years ago seeking lower taxes and has lived in semi-seclusion on a heavily guarded compound until recently.
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