John McAfee Found Dead After Extradition Ruling

Spanish authorities say 'everything points to death by suicide'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2021 3:32 PM CDT
John McAfee Found Dead in Spanish Prison Cell
In this Dec 12, 2012 photo, anti-virus software founder John McAfee talks on his mobile phone as he walks on Ocean Drive in the South Beach area of Miami Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, file)

On Wednesday, Spain's National Court ruled that John McAfee could be extradited to the US to stand trial on criminal tax evasion charges. Hours later, the antivirus software pioneer was found dead in his prison cell. The Catalan justice department confirmed that the 75-year-old had been found unresponsive in the Brians 2 prison near Barcelona and efforts to resuscitate him failed, the Guardian reports. The department said the death is being investigated, but "everything points to death by suicide." McAfee—a former NASA programmer who founded McAfee Associates in 1987 and resigned from the company in 1994—was arrested at Barcelona's international airport last year and held in custody pending extradition hearings.

US prosecutors said he failed to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018 despite earning millions from sources including consulting work and cryptocurrency ventures, reports CNBC. He was charged in March with failing to declare income from cryptocurrencies. The charges could have sent him to prison for up to 30 years. In a hearing earlier this month, McAfee argued that the charges against him were politically motivated and he would spend the rest of his life in prison if he was returned to the US, reports the AP. The Spanish court said Wednesday that there was "no revealing data or indication that Mr. McAfee could be subjected to any political persecution," per the New York Times. (In 2012, McAfee was suspected of killing a neighbor in Belize.)

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