Tech entrepreneur John McAfee was found dead on Wednesday in a prison cell near Barcelona hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the U.S. on tax evasion charges, according to a report.
McAfee, 75, said at an extradition hearing earlier this month that the charges against him were politically motivated. He ran for U.S. president as a Libertarian candidate in 2016, coming in third in the party’s primary.
A controversial figure in the tech world, his company released the first commercial anti-virus software.
McAfee VirusScan helped to spark a multi-billion dollar industry in the computer world, and was eventually sold to technology giant Intel for more than $7.6bn (£4.7bn).
McAfee was arrested at Barcelona’s airport on Oct. 7, two days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with evading taxes and failing to file tax returns.
The US Justice Department alleged that McAfee evaded tax liability by having his income paid into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts in the names of nominees.
After selling his company, he retired to Belize and said in 2011 he uncovered a government plot to kill him. He fled to Guatemala in November 2012 after he was named a person of interest in the death of his neighbor.
McAfee was returned to the U.S. after a lengthy legal battle and lived in Tennessee until 2019 when he said he was fleeing from the U.S. government. He said taxes were illegal and that he hadn’t paid his taxes in eight years.
“In a democracy, power is given not taken,” McAfee said in his last tweet on June 18. “But it is still power. Love, compassion, caring have no use for it. But it is fuel for greed, hostility, jealousy… All power corrupts. Take care which powers you allow a democracy to wield.”
Source : BBC