Antivirus creator John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison

The software pioneer was awaiting extradition to the US on charges of tax evasion

John McAfee speaking at an event

Antivirus software pioneer John McAfee has reportedly been found dead in a Spanish prison, hours after the country's highest court approved his extradition to the United States.

The Catalan police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra, confirmed a report in El País that the 75-year-old had been found dead in the Brians 2 prison, just outside of Barcelona, late on Wednesday.

McAfee was wanted by American authorities for alleged tax evasion and was arrested last October at Barcelona's international airport while boarding a flight to Istanbul, shortly after an indictment was made public by prosecutors in Tennessee.

In a statement, the Catalan justice department said that prison officers and medics tried to save McAfee's life, but were unsuccessful. Judicial staff have been dispatched to the prison to investigate the cause of death, but the statement said that "everything points to death by suicide".

US authorities claim McAfee failed to report income made from consultancy work promoting cryptocurrencies, public speaking gigs, and the sale of the rights to his life story for a documentary. McAfee, who originally made his name and fortune as a pioneer of antivirus software in the 1980s, claimed his work as a cryptocurrency 'guru' earned him $2,000 per day.

His namesake company quickly became a household name and still operates under 'McAfee', despite his departure in 1994. However, since leaving the company, McAfee the man has became notorious for his erratic behaviour and strange lifestyle. This includes two attempts at running for the US presidency, production of herbal medicines, multiple arrests - one for possession of a weapon - and lengthy spells as a fugitive.

Most recently, he was charged by a Manhattan federal court over a 'pump and dump' scheme relating to cryptocurrency he was promoting to his large social media following.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch

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