Antivirus pioneer John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison cell

Antivirus entrepreneur John McAfee has been found dead in a prison cell in Spain.

A Spanish court on 23 June ordered the extradition of McAfee, 75, to the US to face criminal federal proceedings, the Wall Street Journal reported. He was found dead later the same day, his lawyer said.

“John was and will always be remembered as a fighter,” Nishay Sanan, a lawyer representing McAfee in US criminal proceedings said. “He tried to love this country but the US government made his existence impossible.”

In December, a Spanish court refused a request to release McAfee, saying he was a flight risk, and that remaining in prison near Barcelona did not pose a risk to his health.

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Spanish authorities will investigate the causes and circumstances of McAfee’s death.

McAfee founded the antivirus company named after him in 1987, but sold his slice of the business in the 1990s for more than $100m.

“Although John McAfee founded the company, he has not been associated with our company in any capacity for over 25 years,” a McAfee spokesperson said.

“That said, our thoughts go to his family and those close to him.”

McAfee’s recent focus has been cryptocurrencies which he has promoted online and in talks.

US authorities accused McAfee of failing to pay taxes on his income, saying he did not file a tax return between 2014 and 2018 and that he had named other people as the owners of his cryptocurrency and property assets.

In March, New York authorities charged McAfee with fraud, saying he and his associates had made more than $2m through a “pump-and-dump” scheme.

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In 2012 he was sought for questioning by police in Belize after his neighbour was found shot dead. McAfee fled the country, but maintained his innocence on the matter.

In a message to his more than 1m Twitter followers, sent last week, McAfee said his assets had “dissolved”, but said he had “no regrets”.

“The US believes I have hidden crypto. I wish I did but it has dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee (your belief is not required), and my remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association.

“I have nothing.

“Yet, I regret nothing,” he wrote on 16 June.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth

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