MADRID, December 18 – Yesterday a Spanish high court remanded anti-virus software creator John McAfee pending a decision on his extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for tax evasion.
The 75-year-old has been held in a prison near Barcelona since his arrest in the Spanish city in October as he prepared to board a flight to Istanbul.
His arrest follows his June indictment in the United States for tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, despite millions of dollars earned consulting, cryptocurrency and selling the rights to his life story.
If found guilty, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
The Spanish National Court dismissed McAfee’s appeal against his pre-trial detention, arguing that given the long prison terms he faces, there was a “serious risk” that he would seek to evade justice as he l has done in the past.
His wife Janice said on Twitter that he was “not doing well” and faced delays in getting “proper medical attention” in prison, but the court said he was suffering from “typical illnesses. for his age “and that he was being looked after.
Since making his fortune with his eponymous antivirus software in the 1980s which still bears his name, McAfee has become a self-proclaimed cryptocurrency guru.
He has a million followers on Twitter, where he describes himself as a “lover of women, adventure and mystery”.
McAfee grabbed the headlines after moving to Belize and his neighbor in the Central American country was mysteriously murdered in 2012, a crime that remains unsolved.
When police found him alive with a 17-year-old girl and discovered a large arsenal of guns in her home, McAfee went missing in a month-long robbery.
The family of the deceased neighbor subsequently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against McAfee and last year a Florida court convicted him, ordering him to pay the family more than $ 25 million (RM 101 million ).
In 2015, McAfee was arrested in the United States for impaired driving. He disappeared from sight again until January 2019, when he fled the country. – AFP