On June 23, British-born US antivirus software entrepreneur, crypto advocate John McAfee (75) committed suicide in a Barcelona prison, following the Spanish high court’s decision to extradite him to the US on tax evasion charges, Reuters reported, citing his lawyer Javier Villalba. (Updated at 14:59 UTC: updates throughout the entire text.)
McAfee “died by hanging as his nine months in prison brought him to despair,” per the report.
In May, he said that given his age, he would spend the rest of his life in jail if convicted in the United States.
“I am hoping that the Spanish court will see the injustice of this, the United States wants to use me as an example,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
Meanwhile, authorities in Spain say that everything at the scene indicated that the tycoon killed himself, The Associated Press reported, adding that a judge has ordered an autopsy on the remains of John McAfee. Per the report, a forensic team would need to perform toxicology tests on McAfee’s body to determine the cause of death and that results could take “days or weeks.” Per the report, while McAfee was sharing a cell in the Brians 2, at the moment of his death he had been alone.
“This has been like pouring cold water on the family and on his defense team. Nobody expected it, he had not said goodbye,” Villalba told The Associated Press.
According to him, they had managed to nullify seven of the 10 counts McAfee was accused of. Also, per the lawyer, the legal team had been preparing with him an appeal to avoid being extradited.
The entrepreneur was arrested in Spain in October 2020. The US Department of Justice charged McAfee with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns. In 2019, McAfee said that he had not paid US income taxes for eight years for ideological reasons.
The US believes I have hidden crypto. I wish I did but it has dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee (your… https://t.co/xfjhWwLOC5
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee)
Also, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged McAfee and his bodyguard Jimmy Watson, Jr. with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, McAfee with violating the anti-touting provisions, and Watson with aiding and abetting McAfee’s violations.
McAfee founded the software company McAfee Associates in 1987 and ran it until 1994, when he resigned from the company, per Wikipedia. The company was purchased by Intel in 2011, though it still bears the McAfee brand name. McAfee’s wealth peaked in 2007 at USD 100m, before his investments plummeted in the financial crisis of 2007–2008.
McAfee also unsuccessfully sought the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States in 2016 and 2020.
The last public post on McAfee’s Twitter profile:
In a democracy, power is given not taken.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee)
love ya rusty
— cacheboi (@IfALawIsUnjust)
An enigma until the very end, John McAfee was not without deep flaws, but he was a remarkable, and even brilliant,… https://t.co/I9XIVvcQSB
— Jeremy Gardner (@Disruptepreneur)
I have had several interactions with @officialmcafee over the years but this is the only one that was recorded… R… https://t.co/dRtcv2v82D
— Tone Vays (#EndLockdowns) (@ToneVays)
I once had the opportunity to spend the day with the legend @officialmcafee on his boat in the Bahamas.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano)
John was the real thing.
— Bryce “No FOMO” Weiner (@BryceWeiner)
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(Updated at 05:37 UTC with reactions.)