John McAfee, founder of the antivirus software maker of the same name, died in a Spanish prison on Wednesday, the same day a Spanish court announced that he was extradited to the United States for tax evasion.
His death was confirmed by his lawyer, Nishay K. Sanan. Mr. McAfee was 75 years old.
Mr McAfee was arrested in Spain in 2020 after prosecutors in the United States accused him of failing to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018 despite making millions by “mining cryptocurrencies, providing advisory services, lecturing, and selling rights to his life story for a documentary” . a accusation was submitted by the Justice Department last year.
He had resisted extradition to the United States and claimed that he had been politically persecuted by the US authorities for, among other things, his opposition to the fiat monetary system. But on Wednesday the Spanish court said it would grant the Justice Department’s request for extradition.
“The social, economic or other relevance asserted by the defense does not grant the complainant any immunity,” says the judgment. The court also said there was “no revealing data or evidence that Mr. McAfee could face political persecution,” aside from oral allegations.
Mr. McAfee was also the focus of media hype over the death of a Belize neighbor in 2012. He fled his home there after the police labeled him a “person of interest”.
McAfee, the software company he founded, was once a household name in computer security. But it became known largely without McAfee after he left the company in 1994. Intel, the computer chip maker, bought the company for $ 7.7 billion in 2010 and sold its controlling stake to an investment firm six years later.
Before and after Intel’s purchase, the company tried to distance itself from Mr. McAfee. In 2014, Intel changed the company’s name to Intel Security, but it has never completely shaken its bond with its founder and the brand he co-founded.
When Mr McAfee tried to use the name on a new security company in 2016, Intel filed a lawsuit to prevent him from doing so. Intel and Mr. McAfee settled the lawsuit, with Mr. McAfee agreeing not to use his name in the cybersecurity arena.
Cade Metz Reporting contributed.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.