Antivirus software creator John McAfee found dead in Spanish jail

Alonzo Simpson
June 24, 2021

USA technology entrepreneur John McAfee hanged himself in his prison cell on Wednesday after the Spanish high court authorized his extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges, his lawyer told Reuters.

The U.S. government had been seeking McAfee's extradition for charges including failing to submit tax returns from 2014 to 2018 and allegedly not reporting income related to pushing crypto projects and consulting work.

US federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment in October against McAfee over charges that he evaded taxes and willfully failed to file returns.

Sources with knowledge of the development told local outlet El Periodico that McAfee had committed suicide, and that prison staff attempted to resuscitate McAfee without success.

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

The Spanish court decision only referred to offences that took place between 2016 and 2018. A judge ordered at that time that McAfee should be held in jail while awaiting the outcome of a hearing on extradition.

'These eight months John has spent in prison in Spain have been especially hard on his overall health both mentally and physically, as well as financially, but he is undeterred from continuing to speak truth to power, ' she added.

An indictment filed by prosecutors in Tennessee and later publicly released by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in October 2020 alleges that McAfee attempted to "evade" the US Internal Revenue Service by "concealing" assets, such as real estate property and a yacht, by placing them in the name of "others". 75-years-old McAfee attempted in October 2020 to fled Istambul to bypass authorities' hunt. The prosecutor remarked that McAfee was a "millionaire who doesn't want to pay taxes". The antivirus software entrepreneur was charged along with his former employee, Jimmy Gale Watson, on what prosecutors described as McAfee's cryptocurrency team.

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