Crime & Justice

Anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison cell

Barcelona, Jun 23 (EFE).- John McAfee, a pioneer in his industry and creator of the famed anti-virus software that bears his name, was found dead Wednesday in his prison cell in Spain. He was 75.

The British-American, whose body was discovered just hours after Spain’s National Court had agreed to extradite him to the United States, is believed to have committed suicide in his cell at the Brians 2 penitentiary in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, a town outside Barcelona, prison officials said.

They said guards and medical staff intervened immediately in an attempt to resuscitate McAfee, but the medical team eventually certified his death.

Although all indications are that McAfee took his own life, a team of investigators has traveled to the prison in a bid to determine the causes of death.

McAfee was jailed on Oct. 4 of last year by order of the National Court, which on Wednesday agreed to extradite him to the US to face charges that he failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018 despite receiving “considerable income” from crypto-currency promotion, consulting and speaking fees and the sale of the movie rights to his life story.

The computer programming and software development guru, who founded McAfee Associates (now McAfee Corp.) in 1987 but left the California-based company in 1994, was arrested last October at Barcelona’s airport as he was preparing to board a flight to Istanbul and had been jailed pending extradition proceedings ever since.

During an extradition hearing in Madrid last week, McAfee said he had paid millions of dollars in taxes and was being politically persecuted after having vowed three years ago that he would run once again for president in 2020 and “target the IRS (the US federal government’s Internal Revenue Service) and its corruption.”

The eccentric McAfee ran for US president in both 2016 and 2020 as a candidate of the fringe Libertarian Party but fell well short of the nomination five years ago and garnered even less support last year.

The National Court, for its part, said there was no evidence of any political persecution and that the defendant was a mere tax evader. EFE


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