John McAfee in the main house of his property in Rodeo, N.M., on June 4, 2009. McAfee, the founder of the antivirus software maker bearing his name, died in a prison in Spain on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the same day a Spanish court ruled that he could be extradited to the United States on tax-evasion charges. He was 75. Image: Chris Richards/The New York Times
John David McAfee, the founder of the antivirus software maker bearing his name, died in a prison in Spain on Wednesday, after a Spanish court said that he could be extradited to the United States on tax-evasion charges.
His death was confirmed by his lawyers. He was 75.
After selling his pioneering virus-fighting firm in 1994 and losing most of his fortune during the 2008 financial crisis, McAfee led a peripatetic life that included a turn to paranoia and a string of arrests around the globe. That all culminated in his detention in Spain in 2020 after prosecutors in the United States accused him of not filing tax returns for several years. The indictment filed by the Justice Department said McAfee had earned millions from “promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary,” and had tried to avoid taxes by using cryptocurrency and channeling the money through bank accounts. He could have faced prison time if convicted. McAfee said he had been arrested despite paying “millions of dollars in taxes” and resisted extradition, claiming he faced political persecution for denouncing corruption in the Internal Revenue Service and opposing the fiat money system, in which central banks like the Federal Reserve control the money supply. But on Wednesday, the Spanish court released its decision to allow the Justice Department’s request to extradite him, saying there was “no supporting evidence that such a thing could be happening.” “The social, economic or any other relevance the defense claims the appellant possesses does not grant him any immunity,” the ruling stated. “When I heard of John’s impending extradition, my team was fully prepared to fight for his innocence…