According to his attorney, John McAfee, the antivirus software pioneer who founded cybersecurity company, McAfee, was found dead Wednesday in a jail cell in Spain.
A Spanish court earlier in the day ordered the extradition of Mr. McAfee in connection with a federal criminal proceeding in Tennessee. Since October, Mr. McAfee had been detained in the country in connection with criminal charges filed in Tennessee by the Justice Department’s tax division.
McAfee faced charges in the United States for various tax offenses, such as allegedly avoiding paying $4 million in taxes for profits obtained from trading cryptocurrencies between 2016 and 2018.
McAfee was also sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, accused of making millions of dollars from the Twitter recommendation of some ICOs (initial coin offers) without having said that it was paid by those companies that initiated these ICOs. The SEC says it earned $23 million from these recommendations. The ICO is a type of crowdfunding that uses cryptocurrencies to attract initial capital from startups.
McAfee has been arrested in Central America: in 2017 in the Dominican Republic for posting images of large arms, and in 2012 in Guatemala for illegally crossing the border.
McAfee became known after 1987 when he founded the company that bears his name. He is credited as the creator of the first antivirus software that was a commercial success when the web was in its infancy.
He lost much of his fortune in the great financial crisis. In 2011 he sold the company to Intel for $7.6 billion.
McAfee lived for several years in the small central American state of Belize, where he had a controversy with the authorities, and there were suspicions that he was involved in the murder of a neighbor.
“John was and will always be remembered as a fighter,” said Nishay K. Sanan, an attorney for Mr. McAfee. “He tried to love this country, but the U.S. government made his existence impossible.”