Wednesday June 23, 2021
Extradition to the USA threatened
Software pioneer McAfee found dead in cell
With the sale of his anti-virus software of the same name, John McAfee makes a million dollar fortune. Later on, the eccentric PC expert got more and more trouble with the authorities. Now the 75-year-old has been found dead in a Spanish prison.
The software developer John McAfee, wanted by the US for tax evasion, was found dead in his cell in a Spanish detention center. He “apparently committed suicide”, said a spokeswoman for the judiciary in the Catalonia region on Wednesday. Shortly before, Spain’s Supreme Court had ordered the extradition of the well-known company founder to the USA, where he was threatened with trial for alleged tax evasion.
The 75-year-old was arrested at Barcelona airport in October just before he was about to board a plane to Istanbul. According to the US authorities’ indictment, McAfee did not file tax returns for the years 2014-2018, despite having had significant income from several areas. This included various consulting activities, lectures and the sale of the TV rights for a documentary about his life. According to the US extradition request, he is said to have earned the equivalent of more than ten million euros in these four years, but never filed a tax return. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison. The extradition decision of the Spanish court could still have been challenged. In addition, the Spanish cabinet should have agreed.
A spokeswoman for a Catalan judicial authority, which is primarily responsible for appointing judges, confirmed that McAfee was found dead in his cell around 7:00 p.m. and that it was allegedly suicide. McAfee died in Brian’s 2 prison near Barcelona. The Department of Justice of the Catalonia Region said an investigation was opened after a 75-year-old prison inmate who was about to be extradited to the United States was found dead in his cell. “Guards and medical personnel immediately stepped in and tried to resuscitate him, but doctors eventually certified his death,” said a notice that did not include the dead man’s name.
McAfee’s wife was worried
McAfee’s wife Janice has long complained that he is “not well” in prison and that he has only received “adequate medical care” with delay. “The US authorities are determined to let John die in prison”; she explained on Sunday on Twitter.
McAfee began his career at the US space agency Nasa and worked for several IT companies before founding the anti-virus software company named after him in 1987. He made a fortune in the 80s. The founder was also a self-proclaimed expert on cryptocurrencies and had almost a million followers on Twitter. McAfee once described himself as an “eccentric millionaire”. He hit the headlines in 2012 when his Belize neighbor was mysteriously murdered. In 2019 he was sentenced by a court in Florida to pay the deceased’s family the equivalent of around 21 million euros. However, the case was never properly resolved. In 2015, McAfee was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. In the year he announced his application for a presidential candidacy. He fled the United States in January 2019.