Officials with the Justice Department in Catalonia confirmed on Wednesday that John McAfee was found dead inside his jail cell, hours after the Spanish High Court ruled in favor of extraditing him to the US.
Mr McAfee's death came after he received the news Wednesday that his extradition to the U.S. had been granted, where he was set to face charges of tax evasion. McAfee allegedly failed to file tax returns for four years between 2014 and 2018 despite earning a "considerable income" from a variety of sources, including from money he made promoting cryptocurrencies and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.
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Born in 1945, McAfee founded the software company McAfee Associates in his early forties.
The 75-year-old antivirus software founder had initially been detained by Spanish law enforcement officials in October 2020 while at the Barcelona airport.
The Spanish court authorized the extradition but only to face charges related to his tax returns for 2016, 2017 and 2018 as the prosecution had asked. A judge ordered at that time that McAfee should be held in jail while awaiting the outcome of a hearing on extradition.
McAfee linked the charges filed by the Internal Revenue Service to his failed bid to run as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The prosecutor remarked that McAfee was a "millionaire who doesn't want to pay taxes".
The department said the death was most likely a suicide, Reuters reported.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed related civil charges concerning the alleged pump-and-dump scheme.
The statement didn't identify the USA tycoon by name, but said he was a 75-year-old US citizen awaiting extradition to the country.