Founder of Antivirus Software McAfee Dies in Prison

John McAfee, the eponymous founder of antivirus software company McAfee, died on Wednesday (23rd) in prison in the suburbs of Barcelona. He was 75 years old. He has been an important supporter of cryptocurrency in recent years. He once declared that he would run for the president of the United States.

A few hours before McAfee’s death, the Spanish National Court  agreed to extradite him to the United States, and the United States launched an investigation into his involvement in tax fraud. The Associated Press quoted a report from the Barcelona local government that the guards at Brians 2 in the Barcelona suburban prison tried to rescue McAfee, but the first aid was ineffective.

According to reports, McAfee’s appointed lawyer in Spain stated that McAfee apparently died by suicide.

McAfee has been detained in Spain since October last year, and the United States made a public indictment in June of the same year, accusing him of tax evasion for up to four years while concealing personal assets. McAfee was accused in March of using social media to promote cryptocurrency, engaging in fraud and money laundering. The prosecutors believe that he and his co-conspirators obtained US$13 million in illegal gains. According to the federal indictment, McAfee evaded taxes from 2014 to 2018.

The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment. A spokesperson for the department said that reporters can inquire about relevant Spanish departments. Before the legal turmoil, McAfee was a pioneer in the information security industry. In 1987, he founded the antivirus software company McAfee of the same name in Santa Clara, California, and has an important position in the personal computer antivirus software market.

At that time, even half of the top 100 companies selected by Fortune magazine used McAfee anti-virus software. McAfee resigned as founder in 1994. Decades later, McAfee said in an interview with the South China Morning Post that as the company expanded into a large enterprise and hired thousands of employees, he had lost the joy of running the company.

McAfee’s previous investment in real estate and bonds were miserable, and his wealth shrank from 100 million US dollars to 4 million US dollars. He subsequently moved to Belize in 2008.