John McAfee, a pioneer of antivirus software, was found dead in prison hours after the Spanish Supreme Court ruled he could be extradited to the United States to face charges of tax evasion.
John McAfee, a pioneer of antivirus software, was found dead Wednesday in his prison cell near Barcelona, according to the press, hours after the Spanish Supreme Court decided he could be extradited to the United States, where he he had faced tax evasion charges carrying a sentence of up to 30 years.
McAfee has apparently been hanged, his lawyer told Reuters news agency.
A statement released by the Catalan provincial government confirmed that a 75-year-old American citizen had been found dead in his prison cell. An unnamed government source told the Associated Press the statement referred to McAfee.
U.S. federal prosecutors in Tennessee have accused McAfee of evading taxes and of intentional failure to file tax returns to disclose the income made from the promotion of cryptocurrencies, talking about commitments and selling documentary rights for his life story.
He was also charged in a separate case of cryptocurrency fraud in New York.
McAfee, who was known for his eccentric behavior, was arrested in October 2020 at Barcelona International Airport.
During a court hearing in Madrid last week, he argued that allegations of tax fraud filed against him were linked to his failed US presidency in 2020 as a candidate for the Libertarian Party – his second failed race to the White House.
“At the end of 2018, I announced running again and I also announced that I would be targeting the IRS [US Internal Revenue Service] and his corruption and two months later the IRS filed charges against me, ”he told the Spanish High Court during the first hearing of his extradition process.
“I think the accusations are politically motivated.”
McAfee had been jailed for nearly nine months and could appeal the extradition sentence of the Spanish court. His lawyer told Reuters that the software entrepreneur could no longer stay in prison.