Antivirus software entrepreneur, cryptocurrency evangelist and business mogul John McAfee has died in a Barcelona prison cell, hours after the Spanish high court approved his extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges.
McAfee, aged 75, is believed to have committed suicide by hanging after spending nine months in prison after being detained at Barcelona airport as he was about to board a flight to Istanbul.
The British-born tech mogul behind McAfee virus software was facing a number of alleged tax offenses including failing to report income made from promoting cryptocurrencies.
In fact, McAfee’s cryptocurrency ventures brought him to Malta in 2019 when he attended the Malta Blockchain Summit and criticised government’s plans to introduce facial recognition technology for public safety.
“[Facial recognition ] is not a wonderful thing if it’s used by the power structure to follow you, identify you and see everywhere you go, no, that’s not cool with me, I’m sorry but that has nothing to do with the Blockchain. It has to do with the corruption within the power system of the world today,” he told Lovin Malta at the time.
McAfee was known for his larger-than-life personality and was a prolific user of Twitter, where his eccentric and erratic tendencies would often be broadcasted to his over one million followers.
He also worked for Nasa, Xerox and Lockheed Martin before launching his highly successful anti-virus company in 1987.
In 2019, McAfee admitted to not paying US income tax for eight years due to ‘ideological reasons.’
He settled in Belize and lived there for several years before fleeing once again after police sought him for questioning in the 2012 murder of a neighbour.
McAfee’s lawyer said the anti-virus software pioneer died by hanging.
Rest in peace