SPECIAL: Software Pioneer, John McAfee died in jail. He had been warned that he might be killed. The full text of news article is in the below:
Antivirus software pioneer John McAfee dead after hanging himself in jail
By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon and Ben Feuerherd
June 23, 2021 | 3:29pm |
Antivirus software tycoon John McAfee apparently hanged himself in a Spanish jail cell on Wednesday — just hours after a court ruled he would be extradited to face federal charges in the US.
Authorities said a preliminary investigation determined there were no signs of foul play, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
The 75-year-old eccentric tech entrepreneur was arrested in October and was awaiting extradition in the Barcelona jail when he was found dead by hanging, police sources told El Pais.
The newspaper reported McAfee was pulled from his cell in Barcelona and police are investigating the circumstances around his death.
“Everything points to suicide,” the newspaper reported, citing justice department officials in the country. A second Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, also reported McAfee had died by an apparent suicide in the jail.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Spanish High Court had agreed to extradite McAfee, who had been charged with a number of federal financial crimes in two districts in the United States.
In a statement Wednesday, his lawyer confirmed that McAfee was found dead in his cell and chided US prosecutors for their case against him.
“John was and will always be remembered as a fighter,” attorney Nishay Sanan said. “He tried to love this country but the US government made his existence impossible.”
“They tried to erase him but they failed,” Sanan wrote.
He added that there was no confirmation on the cause of death.
McAfee was hit with a 10-count indictment in the Western District of Tennessee in October for allegedly evading taxes on millions of dollars in income.
He was arrested by authorities in Spain after the indictment was handed down and had been in custody in the country since.
In the Tennessee case, prosecutors alleged McAfee racked up millions of dollars in income through speaking engagements, selling his personal story for a documentary and doing consulting work.
He then skipped paying taxes on all of the income from 2014 to 2018, according to the feds.
He was also charged in a separate indictment in Manhattan federal court in March for a pump-and-dump scheme involving cryptocurrencies that he was touting on social media.
In that case, McAfee and an accomplice allegedly bilked bitcoin investors out of some $13 million in two schemes, including one where they bought up large quantities of “alt-coin,” then inflated the price of it by publicizing it on Twitter.
They then sold off the cryptocurrency at the inflated price and made a $2 million profit, prosecutors said.
McAfee had claimed at an extradition hearing earlier this month that the federal tax evasion charges against him were politically motivated, Reuters reported.