MADRID – John McAfee, the creator of antivirus software McAfee, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona in an apparent suicide on Wednesday, hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States to do so facing tax burdens punishable by decades in prison, authorities said.
The eccentric cryptocurrency promoter and fiscal opponent whose history of legal issues spans from Tennessee to Central America to the Caribbean was discovered at Brians 2 Penitentiary in northeastern Spain. Security personnel attempted to resuscitate him, but the prison medical team ultimately certified his death, according to a statement from the Catalan regional government.
“A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death,” the statement said, adding that “everything points to death by suicide.”
The statement did not identify McAfee by name, but said the deceased was a 75-year-old US citizen awaiting extradition to his country. A Catalan government official with knowledge of the case who was not allowed to be named in the media confirmed to The Associated Press that it was McAfee.
Spain’s National Court on Monday ruled in favor of the extradition of McAfee, 75, who argued in a hearing earlier this month that the charges against him by Tennessee prosecutors were motivated by considerations policies and 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 was subject to appeal, with any final extradition order also requiring approval from the Spanish Cabinet.
The entrepreneur was arrested in October at Barcelona International Airport.
McAfee was charged the same month in Tennessee with tax evasion after failing to report cryptocurrency promotion income while working as a consultant, speaking and selling the rights to his life story. for a documentary. Criminal charges carried a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
The US attorney’s office in Memphis declined to comment on Wednesday.
Information for this article was provided by Adrian Sainz, Barbara Ortutay and David Hamilton of the Associated Press.
FILE – In this December 12, 2012 file photo, antivirus software founder John McAfee speaks on his cell phone as he walks on Ocean Drive in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach, Fla. John McAfee, creator of the antivirus named after him, was found dead in a prison cell near Barcelona, a government source told The Associated Press on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the same day a Spanish court ruled a preliminary ruling in favor of his extradition to the United States on criminal charges related to tax. (AP Photo / Alan Diaz, file)