John McAfee dies in Spanish prison

3 min read

John McAfee died in the cell of a prison in Barcelona on Wednesday. Hours earlier, a court had approved his extradition to the United States.

John McAfee is dead. The software developer and antivirus pioneer was found dead in a prison cell in Barcelona on Wednesday. Spanish authorities arrested the British-American celebrity in October because the US prosecutor wanted to bring him to justice. Hours before his death, a Spanish court approved McAfee’s extradition to the United States.

The US prosecutor accused McAfee of tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns, which would be criminal offenses. In addition, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has alleged that McAfee recommended the purchase of certain cryptocurrencies without disclosing its advertising fees. This resulted in charges against antivirus entrepreneur McAfee of fraud and money laundering.

McAfee turned 75. The cause of his death is currently being investigated. The Spanish prison administration suspects suicide. Immediate resuscitation attempts would not have been fruitful.

McAfee has opposed his extradition to the United States. The court decision on Wednesday was not yet final, the man could have appealed. The tax evasion charges cover the years 2014 to 2018. With regard to 2014 and 2015, the Spanish court denied extradition because McAfee was not charged with any criminal offenses, only administrative offenses during this period.

Kim Dotcom


John was a colorful guy. A pioneer in data security. I always thought he partied too hard, should have avoided the drugs and focus on using his brilliant mind for good. When he had a sober mind it was all about freedom. That’s how I will remember him, a freedom fighter.

 via Twitter 


For the years 2016 to 2018, however, the US prosecutor names criminally relevant facts, which is why McAfee could be extradited. In the trial he claimed to have paid millions in taxes. The indictment is political persecution identification in revenge for disclosing corruption to the US tax authorities.

However, according to the daily El Mundo , the court found that McAfee had provided no evidence of political or ideological persecution beyond its allegations. So he could be extradited.

John David McAfee was born in 1945 in a US Army base in Gloucestershire, England. His mother was British and his father was a US soldier. The alcoholic father is said to have abused his son. When John was 15 years old, his father took his own life.

Nevertheless, the young man made it to study at Roanoke College in Virginia. In 1967 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. According to the BBC , McAfee began a doctorate in Louisiana, but was dropped from university: he had slept with a mentee, his future wife. Nevertheless, McAfee was supposed to become a doctor: in 2008 Roanoke College awarded him an honorary doctorate.

After completing his studies, he got a job as a programmer at NASA. His other career steps included software design for Univac, operating system architect for Xerox, and positions with the Computer Sciences Corporation, Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed.

There he received a copy of what was probably the first computer virus for IBM PCs called Brains. McAfee then began developing anti-virus software. In 1987 he founded McAfee Associates, one of the earliest antivirus companies. He retired from the company in 1994. In 2006, two years after the company named after him went public, John McAfee is said to have sold his last shares.

That same year, McAfee’s fortune collapsed. After the stock market crash and the bursting of the US housing bubble, only four million of what was once 100 million US dollars are said to have remained, as the New York Times reported at the time . McAfee had to auction his last property.

McAfee moved to Belize and founded a number of startups. In April 2012, his home was stormed by a special unit who suspected a drug laboratory there. The suspicion was not borne out: the laboratory was one of his startups that researched herbal medicines under the direction of a US microbiologist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!