Software mogul John McAfee dies in Spain by suicide, lawyer says
British-born U.S. technology entrepreneur John McAfee died on June 23 by suicide in a Barcelona prison after the Spanish high court authorized his extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges, his lawyer told Reuters.
McAfee's lawyer, Javier Villalba, said the anti-virus software pioneer died by hanging as his nine months in prison brought him to despair.
During a court hearing last month, McAfee, 75, said that given his age, he would spend the rest of his life in jail if convicted in the United States. "I am hoping that the Spanish court will see the injustice of this," he said, adding "the United States wants to use me as an example."
McAfee had lived for years on the run from U.S. authorities, some of that time aboard a megayacht. He was indicted in Tennessee on tax evasion charges and was charged in a cryptocurrency fraud case in New York.
The colorful tech founder was detained on Oct. 3 at the Barcelona airport as he was about to board a flight to Istanbul with a British passport, a Spanish police source said at the time.
McAfee worked for NASA, Xerox and Lockheed Martin before launching the world's first commercial anti-virus in 1987. He sold his software company to Intel in 2011 and no longer had any involvement in the business. The program still carries his name and has 500 million users worldwide.
Spain's high court said on Wednesday it agreed to extradite McAfee to the United States. The regional justice department confirmed that a U.S. man aged 75 awaiting extradition was found dead in his cell on June 23.
Prison authorities were investigating the cause of death.
McAfee still had opportunities to appeal his conviction but could not stand more time in jail, Villalba said.