John McAfee, controversial antivirus pioneer, found dead in prison

Yolanda Curtis
June 24, 2021

Antivirus pioneer John McAfee killed himself in his prison cell at Brians 2 Penitentiary Center in Barcelona, according to an El País report that cites police sources.

Spain's National Court earlier on Wednesday said it had approved his extradition to the United States.

He said in 2019 that he had not paid USA income taxes for eight years for ideological reasons. A spokesperson for the Catalan Justice Department has since confirmed the death to Reuters.

The entrepreneur was arrested last October at Barcelona's global airport.

The decision can be appealed and the final extradition will need to be approved by the Spanish Cabinet. Still, Spanish authorities managed to arrest him and considered the now-defunct entrepreneur as a person with a high risk to escape.

Though during the extradition hearing McAfee said that he was victim of political persecution for disclosing corruption in the tax system.

A view of the courtroom during the extradition hearing of John McAfee (not pictured), in Madrid earlier this month.

The Spanish prosecutor, Carlos Bautista, dismissed the claim of political motivations, insisting the Libertarian Party rarely gains more than 1 percent of votes in US elections.

In July 2019, McAfee was released from detention in the Dominican Republic after he and five others were suspected of traveling on a yacht carrying high-caliber weapons, ammunition and military-style gear, officials on the Caribbean island said at the time.

U.S. federal prosecutors charged the 75-year-old with evading taxes after failing to report income made from promoting cryptocurrencies while doing consulting work, as well as income derived from speaking engagements and selling film rights to his life story.

McAfee regularly posted updates from his Twitter account, initially saying he was "content" with his situation and had friends in prison, but also describing the conditions of his incarceration.

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