Antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison cell

Ruben Fields
June 24, 2021

John McAfee, the eccentric tech entrepreneur as famous for his antics as he was for developing the McAfee antivirus software, was reportedly found dead in a jail cell in Barcelona, Spain.

The U.S. government had been seeking McAfee's extradition for charges including failing to submit tax returns from 2014 to 2018 and allegedly not reporting income related to pushing crypto projects and consulting work.

He faced a possible sentence of more than two decades in prison had be been convicted of the United States tax charges, which stemmed from claims that he did not file tax returns between 2014 and 2018.

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Prison guards found McAfee dead earlier today.

The 75-year-old antivirus software founder had initially been detained by Spanish law enforcement officials in October 2020 while at the Barcelona airport.

The Spanish court decision only referred to offences that took place between 2016 and 2018.

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Though during the extradition hearing McAfee said that he was victim of political persecution for disclosing corruption in the tax system. The reports indicate that authorities believe he committed suicide, but the cause of death has not been officially determined.

"These eight months John has spent in prison in Spain have been especially hard on his overall health both mentally and physically, as well as financially, but he is undeterred from continuing to speak truth to power", it said.

McAfee linked the charges filed by the Internal Revenue Service to his failed bid to run as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 2020 USA presidential election.

The U.S. embassy in Madrid didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed related civil charges concerning the alleged pump-and-dump scheme. Last year, he was arrested in the country after United States prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging McAfee with tax evasion.

The statement didn't identify McAfee by name, but said he was a 75-year-old US citizen awaiting extradition to his country.

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