U.S. technology entrepreneur John McAfee allegedly hanged himself in his prison cell on Wednesday just hours after the Spanish high court authorized his extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges.
Known for his eccentric behaviour, McAfee, 75, was a pioneer of anti-virus software, introducing his eponymous program in the 1980s. He had been indicted in Tennessee on tax evasion charges. He also was charged in a cryptocurrency fraud case in New York.
McAfee was arrested in the Barcelona airport then jailed there in October. Prison authorities were investigating the cause of death.
Spain’s high court agreed to extradite McAfee to the United States, a court document released on Wednesday said. The provincial justice department confirmed that a U.S. man aged 75 was found dead in his cell on Wednesday.
McAfee, who sold his software company to Intel in 2011 and no longer had any involvement in the business, lived a colourful life.
He said in 2019 that he had not paid U.S. income taxes for eight years for ideological reasons. That year, he left the United States to avoid trial, largely living on a megayacht with his wife, four large dogs, two security guards and seven staff.
He offered to help Cuba avoid a U.S. trade embargo using cryptocurrency and sought to run for U.S. president for the Libertarian Party.
McAfee, who said in 2018 that he had fathered at least 47 children, lived in Belize for several years. He fled after police sought him for questioning in the 2012 murder of a neighbour. He had a million followers on Twitter.
MacDailyNews Take: McAfee’s million Twitter followers have seen some interesting tweets, including: