John McAfee, creator of antivirus software McAfee, was found dead in his prison cell near Barcelona, a government official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Hours earlier, a Spanish court issued a preliminary ruling in favor of the 75-year-old tycoon’s extradition to the United States to face tax-related criminal charges.
Security staff at Brians 2 penitentiary, near the town in northeastern Spain, attempted to resuscitate him, but the prison’s medical team ultimately certified his death, according to a statement from the regional Catalan government.
The statement did not identify McAfee by name, but said he was a 75-year-old US citizen awaiting extradition to his country. A Catalan government source familiar with the event who was not allowed to be named in the media confirmed to the AP that the dead man was McAfee.
Spain’s National Court ruled on Monday in favor of the extradition of McAfee, who argued in a hearing earlier this month that the charges against him were politically motivated and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison if returned to the United States.
The court’s decision was made public on Wednesday and may be subject to appeal. Any final extradition order will also need the approval of the Spanish Cabinet.
Tennessee prosecutors have charged McAfee with tax evasion after failing to report income from promoting cryptocurrencies while working as a consultant, as well as income from speaking engagements and selling the rights to his story of life for a documentary. Criminal charges carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
The entrepreneur was arrested last October at Barcelona International Airport. A judge then ordered that McAfee be held in jail pending the outcome of an extradition hearing.