Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee Found Dead In Spanish Jail

The colourful life and times of security and cryptocurrency expert John McAfee has taken one last shocking turn.

Just hours after Silicon UK had reported that the Spanish High Court had authorised his extradition to the US, John McAfee was founded dead in his prison cell.

Reuters was informed by his lawyer that McAfee was found hanging in his cell in an apparent suicide.

McAfee dead

McAfee had reportedly argued during his videolink earlier this month, that the US charges against him were politically motivated. He also said he would spend the rest of his life in prison if he was returned to the US.

It was understood McAfee could face a prison sentence of 30 years in the US if found guilty.

However, McAfee did have other some legal options left open to him, as the Spanish court extradition decision could have been appealed and the final extradition required the final approval of the Spanish Cabinet.

Catalan’s regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, confirmed a report in local newspaper El País that McAfee, 75, had been found dead in the Brians 2 prison near Barcelona, late on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Catalan justice department said that prison officers and medics had tried to save the life of a 75-year-old man, but had been unsuccessful. After attempts to save him failed, he was pronounced dead.

“Judicial staff have been dispatched to the prison and are investigating the causes of death,” the statement said, adding: “Everything points to death by suicide.”

Tax charges

McAfee, who left the antivirus company that bears his name in 1994, has twice run for US president.

But he was arrested in Barcelona airport in October 2020, after he tried to board a flight to Istanbul with a British passport. He was arrested over tax evasion charges in the United States.

McAfee was born on a US military base in the UK (to an American dad and a British mother – hence the British passport), but he was considered a natural-born citizen of the United States.

Then in March this year, both McAfee and his executive adviser and bodyguard Jimmy Gale Watson Jr were indicted in the US on fraud and money-laundering charges related to alleged cryptocurrency schemes.

This is the second time that McAfee was presumed dead.

In 2012 he disappeared for the best part of a month when his neighbour in Belize and fellow US expatriate Gregory Faull was shot in the head in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.

He hid in Belize jungle for three weeks, but then crossed into neighbouring Guatemala, where he was arrested by immigration officials for entering the country illegally.

More to follow on this breaking news story…

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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