Anti-virus software entrepreneur 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 prison medics tried to resuscitate him, but were not successful.
It said in a statement that “everything indicates” McAfee took his own life.
A controversial figure in the tech world, his 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 $7.6bn (£4.7bn).
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.
He was also accused of concealing assets, including a yacht and real estate property, also in other people’s names.
Spain’s National Court authorised his extradition to the US to faces the charges on Wednesday morning.
In recent years, McAfee 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, El Pais reported.
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.
Although a pioneer of computer security, he once admitted to the BBC that he never actually used the software on his own computers – or any anti-virus software for that matter.
“I protect myself by constantly changing my IP [internet protocol] address, by not attaching my name to any device I use, and by not going on to sites where you might pick up a virus,” he told the BBC’s technology reporter Leo Kelion in 2013.
“Porn sites, for example, I just don’t go there.”
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 he was briefly detained in the Dominican Republic for allegedly bringing weapons into the country.
McAfee never fitted into the mould of what a tech entrepreneur might look like. He was brash, reckless and never far away from the next scandal.
Mcafee himself is best known for the company he founded and named.
It was wildly successful and made him a rich man. He also helped to create a multi-billon dollar computer security software industry in the process.
McAfee was a visionary, but also hot headed. It was his temperament that got him into trouble throughout his life.
In 2012 he was arrested in Guatamala, having been on the run in Belize where police were investigating the death of his neighbour.
He always denied any involvement in the murder.
A prominent libertarian, engaging speaker and crypto enthusiast, McAfee still had the ability to make money. His latest brush with law enforcement was due to alleged tax evasion on his recent earnings.
He will be remembered, rightly, as an important figure in the development of the technology scene of the 80s and 90s. But he will also be remembered as a deeply controversial figure, who at times seemed intent in taking a path in life that might lead to trouble.
- Cape Coast High Court cancels 2020 Assin North parliamentary election results
- Akufo-Addo sets in motion probe to determine if CJ should be removed from office
- Supreme Court prohibits Justice Honyenuga from continuing with Opuni’s case
- Assin North MP’s case: Resident insists only Supreme Court can decide what constitutes allegiance
- Neither Nana Asante Bediatuo nor his wife has bought Holiday Inn Hotel – Lawyers
- Pay us $2,000 or we will strike from August 2 – UTAG to government
- Obinim breaks down Black Sherif’s ‘Second Sermon’, Ghanaians react
- GRIDCo appoints new CEO
- Assin North ruling: We’ll contest this travesty of justice – Minority in Parliament
- No docket has been built and presented to AG since murder of Ahmed Suale – Godfred Dame
Dr Gideon Boako donates ₵10k to Tano Bofoakwa F.C
FDA approves Pfizer and Moderna vaccines
Livestream: PM Express discusses cancellation of Assin North Parliamentary election
Man, 54, jailed 9 years for pouring acid on ex-lover and mother
Partner government to give young people digital skills – Ursula Owusu-Ekuful to Ghanaians
Ursula Owusu, Sam George, others join hands to commission ICT centre, library at Akyem-Bieni
Students of Nyankpala DA Primary and Junior High School have roof over their heads
Parliament’s Privileges Committee invites Alhassan Suhuyini to testify in case against Assin Central MP
‘I’m ready to testify, Mr Chairman’ – Alhassan Suhuyini on invitation to testify in Assin Central MP case
‘Prison Break’ star Wentworth Miller reveals autism diagnosis
40-year-old slice of Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding cake to be auctioned
SEND Ghana finds discrepancies in Covid-19 expenditure by government
Bob Odenkirk in hospital after collapsing on set of Better Call Saul
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s daughter added to Royal line of succession
GHA officials, agents robbing state of ¢370k daily at 9 axle load weight stations