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McAfee Committed Suicide (Updated)

On June 23, the British-born US founder of one of the pillars of antivirus software and crypto advocate, John David McAfee (age 75), allegedly committed suicide in a Barcelona prison.

McAfee “died by hanging as his nine months in prison brought him to despair,” as claimed by the report.

The incident occurred a couple of hours following the Spanish high court’s decision to deport him back to the US on tax evasion charges, citing his lawyer Javier Villalba according to Reuters. (Updated at 14:59 UTC: updates throughout the entire text.)

In May, McAfee cited that given his age, he would spend the rest of his life in jail if sentenced in the United States.

“I am hoping that the Spanish court will see the injustice of this, the United States wants to use me as an example,” he was cited as stating in the report.

Meantime, Spanish authorities said that everything at the scene indicated that the tycoon committed suicide, the Associated Press reported. They added that a judge had ordered an autopsy on the remains of John McAfee. A forensic team would need to carry out toxicology analyses on McAfee’s body. This needs to be done in order to establish the cause of death; the findings could take “days or weeks,” as per the report. McAfee was sharing a cell in the Brians 2, he had been alone at the moment of his death.

Villalba informed The Associated Press that,

“This has been like pouring cold water on the family and on his defense team. Nobody expected it, he had not said goodbye.”

As per Villalba, they had resolved to nullify seven of the ten counts McAfee was accused of. As per the lawyer, the legal team had been planning an appeal to prevent McAfee from being deported.

Breaking The Law

McAfee was arrested in Spain in October 2020. The US Department of Justice indicted McAfee with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns. In 2019, McAfee declared that he had not paid US income taxes for eight years for ideological reasons.

Also, the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused McAfee and his bodyguard Jimmy Watson, Jr., in breach of antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, McAfee breaking the anti-touting conditions, and Watson of aiding and abetting McAfee’s violations.

McAfee founded the software company McAfee Associates in 1987 and ran it until 1994, when he resigned from the company, per Wikipedia. The business was purchased by Intel in 2011, though it still bears the McAfee brand name. McAfee’s wealth peaked in 2007 at USD 100m before his investments plummeted in the financial crisis of 2007–2008.

Without success, McAfee sought the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States in 2016 and 2020.

The last public post on McAfee’s Twitter profile:

In a democracy, power is given, not taken.

— John McAfee (@officialmcafee)

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