Barcelona, SPAIN – Tech entrepreneur John McAfee, creator of the first antivirus software for computers, was found dead of suicide in his jail cell shortly after a Spanish court ordered his extradition to the United States.
McAfee, 75, was arrested in the Barcelona airport on Oct. 7, 2020 on U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) warrants in multiple states, Reuters reported.
He was wanted for tax evasion in Tennessee and had recently been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with fraud and money laundering conspiracy crimes in the Southern District of New York, including two cryptocurrency schemes that netted $13 million for his team, according to FOX News.
Under the latest charges, the DOJ said that McAfee had made more than $23 million by making false and misleading statements about cryptocurrencies.
Court documents released in Spain on June 23 showed that Spain’s high court had agreed to extradite McAfee to the United States just hours before the provincial justice department confirmed that a 75-year-old U.S. citizen had been found dead in his cell, Reuters reported.
McAfee told a Spanish court in May that he would spend the rest of his life in jail if he was sent back home.
His attorney, Javier Villalba, confirmed that McAfee had died by hanging himself after nine months of despair behind bars, according to Reuters.
McAfee began his career in tech working for NASA, Xerox, and Lockheed Martin.
He launched the world’s first commercial antivirus software, which still carries his name, in 1987, Reuters reported.
The eccentric mogul who founded McAfee antivirus software sold his company to Intel in 2011 and retired to Belize.
In 2011, he claimed he had uncovered a government plot to kill him, Reuters reported.
He was named a person of interest in the death of a neighbor in Belize in 2012 and fled to Guatemala, FOX News reported.
The antivirus creator was eventually cleared as a suspect, Reuters reported.
McAfee returned to the United States and lived in Tennessee until he was busted for tax evasion.
He ran for U.S. President in 2016 as a Libertarian candidate and came in third in that party’s primary, FOX News reported.
Then McAfee offered to help Cuba avoid a U.S. trade embargo using cryptocurrency.
He said he believed taxes were illegal and admitted in 2019 that he had not paid U.S. income taxes in eight years for ideological reasons, Reuters reported.
McAfee left the United States shortly thereafter and lived mostly on his megayacht with his wife, two security guards, seven staff, and four large dogs.
The eccentric tech entrepreneur was arrested in Barcelona airport nine months ago as he was about to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey on a British passport.
McAfee, who had more than a million followers on Twitter, claimed in 2018 to have fathered at least 47 children, according to Reuters.
He said he met his wife, Janice McAfee, while he was on the run.
McAfee said Janice was a prostitute when he met her, and that she had solicited him, Reuters reported.
On Father’s Day, Janice McAfee expressed her frustration with U.S. authorities on social media.
“Now the U.S. authorities are determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies… There is no hope of him ever having a fair trial in America,” she tweeted.
— Janice McAfee (@theemrsmcafee) June 20, 2021
McAfee’s attorney said the tech mogul still could have appealed his conviction but couldn’t handle spending any more time behind bars, Reuters reported.
“This is the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long,” Villalba said.
Conspiracy theories exploded on social media shortly after McAfee’s suicide was announced.
Several referred back to a tweet he posted in 2019 that joked about having the “goods” on Hillary Clinton.
“Took them awhile. Seems they got you,” @Brig85 tweeted on Wednesday in response to the two-year old tweet.
Took them a while. Seems they got you
— Just me 🤷🏼♀️ (@Brig85) June 23, 2021
“She played the long game,” @unkempt7 added.