Antivirus software creator John McAfee found dead in Spanish jail

John Mcafee

Antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee has been found dead in his prison cell after Spain's National Court approved his extradition to the United States, the Catalan justice department has said.

Earlier, the Spanish National Court ruled in favor of extraditing John McAfee, the founder of the McAfee antivirus software, to the USA over tax-related criminal charges that were filed by prosecutors in Tennessee.

McAfee was arrested in Spain previous year for tax evasion.

Reuters confirmed McAfee's death with the Catalan justice department, which confirmed an earlier report from Spain's El Mundo newspaper.

The Justice Department said McAfee and his accomplices reaped more than $13 million from the schemes. Any final extradition order would also need to get approval from the Spanish Cabinet.

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

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The charges refer to the three fiscal years from 2016 to 2018, according to the Spanish court's ruling on Wednesday.

McAfee still had opportunities to appeal his conviction but could not stand more time in jail, the lawyer Javier Villalba said. El Pais noted the prison surveillance officers, who have found him dead in the cell, and the prison medical services have intervened to carry out resuscitation maneuvers without success.

In a hearing earlier this month via videolink, McAfee claimed the charges were politically motivated and said he feared he would spend the rest of his life in prison if he was taken back to the US. Earlier this month, McAfee testified in court that the tax-related charges filed in the U.S. were politically motivated, and that if he were extradited back to the USA, he would remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

In Washington, the IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Separately, he was also charged by the US SEC for fraudulently promoting initial coin offerings.

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