John McAfee Hangs Himself in Spanish Prison Hours After Court Orders Extradition to US

Maverick software genius who blazed John McAfee died by suicide in a Spanish prison hours after a Spanish court issued a preliminary ruling in favor of extraditing him to the United States where he would have to face criminal charges.

The 75-year-old tech tycoon, who blazed a new trail decades ago with his McAfee antivirus software, was found dead in his cell in a jail near Barcelona.

Eventful Life

Curtains came down on an eventful life hours after Spain's National Court ruled in favor of extraditing McAfee to the US.

John McAfee
John McAfee Wikimedia Commons

"The court agrees to grant the extradition of John David McAfee as requested by the American judicial authorities for the crimes referred to in the tax offence indictments for years 2016 to 2018," the court said in its ruling.

Tax-Related Case

Prosecutors in Tennessee said McAfee deliberately failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018.

"From 2014 to 2018, the defendant earned more than 10 million euros in income and therefore accumulated millions of dollars in tax liabilities. He did not file tax returns during any of those years," the state said.

"To conceal his income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service... the defendant ordered part of his income to be paid to straw men and placed property in their names," it continued.

Charges Politically Motivated?

The tech mogul, who has been on the run from the US law enforcement for a few years, consistently argued that the charges against him were politically motivated. The charges against him in the US were tax related, and McAfee feared he would have to spend the remainder of his life in a US prison.

He was arrested last October at Barcelona's international airport.

McAfee hanged himself in his prison cell on Wednesday, his lawyer told Reuters. "This is the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long," lawyer Javier Villalba said.

Hunted for Exposing Corruption?

After the Spanish court ordered his extradition, McAfee's wife said the US prosecutors were scheming his death in a prison cell.

"Now the US 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," said Janice McAfee.

McAfee had fled Belize, where he had lived for several years, in 2012 after the local police were on the lookout for him in the case related to the murder of a neighbor.