According to officials, John McAfee, the creator of McAfee antivirus, has died in prison at the age of 75. Though initial reports cited “police sources,” McAfee’s lawyers later confirmed the news. McAfee first came to prominence through his antivirus program before later touting cryptocurrency.
John McAfee founded his company in 1987, where it grew to be one of the most recognizable names in antivirus. He later resigned from the company, and which was in turn purchased by Intel. Intel sold its stake several years later. During his time abroad, McAfee announced multiple runs for President through the Libertarian Party.
He also founded several ventures, including biosecurity company QuorumEx. McAfee went on to invest in airports and to recommend cryptocurrency options. That latter bit led to some of his troubles, as prosecutors accused him of pump-and-dump schemes surrounding cryptocurrency.
Spanish police arrested McAfee last October in Barcelona at the request of the United States. Prosecutors allege McAffee did not pay income taxes for years and also accused him of other security fraud violations. McAfee denied all the charges.
While in prison, McAfee fought extradition to the United States, and the Spanish National Court denied that attempt hours before McAfee’s death. An appeal was still possible, and any extradition requires the Spanish Cabinet’s approval. According to NBC News, guards at the Brians 2 penitentiary where McAfee was being held found him unresponsive, and the jail’s medical team certified his death.
“Confirmation has come from our legal team in Spain that John was found dead in his jail cell,” said Nishan Sanan, McAfee’s lawyer in the United States. “I am saddened to hear of the events and my prayers go out to his wife Janice.”
According to the Catalan Justice Department, it’s likely McAfee committed suicide. McAfee’s lawyer in Spain, Javier Villalba, confirmed the information, telling Reuters, “This is the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long.” It’s likely that with his death, U.S. prosecutors will drop the charges against McAfee.
If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide or experiencing depression, the Crisis Text Line can help. Text START to 741741 from anywhere in the USA regarding any crisis. Readers outside the U.S. can check the International Association for Suicide Prevention. It lists a number of suicide hotlines by country.