Antivirus pioneer John McAfee reportedly found dead in prison
John McAfee, the developer and programmer behind one of the first commercial antivirus tools, was found dead in a prison cell in Barcelona, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Government officials told the newspaper that the 75-year old was being held in Brians 2 prison in Sant Esteve de Sesrovires when guards found him dead and were unable to resuscitate him. El Dario confirmed the announcement.
“The judicial procession has traveled to the prison and is investigating the causes of death. Everything indicates that it could be a death by suicide,” the statement said, according to El Dario. While the initial notice from the regional Catalan government did not name McAfee, a source within the Catalan government confirmed it was him to the Associated Press.
The controversial technologist was awaiting extradition to the US after the Department of Justice indicted him on a litany of charges related to tax evasion and fraud in March. He was facing nearly 30 years in prison. He was arrested by Spanish National Police at El Prat airport in October as he tried to flee to Turkey.
Today, the Spanish National Court approved an extradition request for McAfee, according to AFP.
“The court agrees to grant the extradition of John David McAfee as requested by the American judicial authorities for the crimes referred to in the tax offense indictments for years 2016 to 2018,” the ruling said, according to AFP.
McAfee founded and ran software company McAfee Associates from 1987 to 1994, creating McAfee’s first commercial antivirus software. He resigned from the company and went on to found dozens of other enterprises. He repeatedly caused controversy through statements made on his Twitter account.
The Department of Justice said McAfee had not paid taxes on millions of dollars made through a cryptocurrency scheme and had defrauded investors in the enterprise.
Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said McAfee used his Twitter account to publish messages touting various cryptocurrencies “through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives.”
“McAfee, Watson, and other members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency team allegedly raked in more than $13 million from investors they victimized with their fraudulent schemes,” Strauss said in March.
In his last message on Twitter from June 16, McAfee continued to deny the charges.
“The US believes I have hidden crypto. I wish I did but it has dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee (your belief is not required), and my remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association. I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing,” he wrote.