John McAfee, the founder of the McAfee antivirus company has died in a Spanish jail. The cause of death is apparently suicide. McAfee was facing possible extradition to the US after the Spanish National Court gave the nod that he be sent to the United States to face criminal charges bordering on tax evasion and cryptocurrency related pump and dump schemes.
A release by his lawyer, Javier Villalba stated that McAfee, 75 who was being held in a Barcelona prison at the Catalonia region of Spain died of apparent suicide. A report from prison officials stated that the antivirus software developer hanged himself in his prison cell, hours after the court’s ruling authorizing his extradition.
McAfee’s Chicago lawyer, Nishay Sanan corroborated the Spanish lawyer’s claims of suicide, stating that Mr McAffee was found dead in his Barcelona prison cell, and that attempts by the prison’s medical officials to resuscitate him failed. Quoting prison sources and the Catalan Justice Department, he said that McAfee who was held at Brians 2 prisons may have taken his own life due to frustration associated with being locked up.
Public pays tributes to McAfee
Sanan paid tributes to McAfee, whom he describes as a “fighter who loved this country (the US), but whose existence was made impossible by the government”. He maintained that the attempts to “erase” him had failed. He added that:
“I am saddened to hear of the events and my prayers go out to his wife Janice.”
Villalba, his Spanish lawyer, stated that the death of John McAfee is the consequence of a cruel system that had him incarcerated for so long.
The demise came hours after the court verdict that he still had the opportunity of appealing. The extradition verdict needed the approval of the Spanish cabinet to take effect. His death is reminiscent of that of Jeff Epstein, who died in a Manhattan federal prison after being accused of facilitating child sex and trafficking. Epstein’s death was also linked to a suicide.
McAfee was wanted in the US on tax evasion charges which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. He was arrested at the Barcelona airport and had been held in prison from where he sought to avoid extradition to the US, claiming that he would be persecuted for his stance against the IRS.
Last October, shortly after his arrest, he had tweeted on the conditions in the prison and also alluded that hanging himself would make him another Epstein. He wrote:
“Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine,”
According to the series of tweets, he stated that he had friends in the prison, adding that the food was good.
McAfee’s problems started after he was indicted by the Justice Department for failing to file his tax returns from 2014 to 2018, despite making a lot of income within the period. McAfee had been active in the cryptocurrency space, which he promoted, as well as had a thriving consultancy business.