Anti-virus software creator and entrepreneur, John McAfee, has been reportedly found dead in a Barcelona prison cell, hours after a Spanish court agreed to extradite him to the US to face tax evasion charges. The Catalan Justice Department said prison medics tried to resuscitate him but were not successful. It said in a statement that “everything indicates” McAfee took his own life.
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 $7.6 billion.
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.
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 neighbour.
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. He was also accused of concealing assets, including a yacht and real estate property, also in other people’s names.
“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.”
In a democracy, power is given not taken.
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.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) June 18, 2021