According to a government official, John McAfee, the founder of the McAfee antivirus software, was found dead in his cell at a jail near Barcelona.
A Spanish court had given a preliminary judgement in favor of the 75-year-old tycoon’s extradition to the US to face tax-related criminal charges just hours before, El Pais reported.
According to a statement from the regional Catalan government, security personnel at the Brians 2 penitentiary outside the northeastern Spanish city tried to revive him, but the jail’s medical team eventually certified his death.
John McAfee had argued in a hearing earlier this month that the charges against him were politically motivated and that if he was extradited to the United States, he would spend the rest of his life in prison. Spain’s National Court ruled in his favor on Monday.
On Wednesday, the court’s decision was made public, and it might be challenged.
The Spanish Cabinet would also have to approve any final extradition order.
McAfee was charged with tax evasion by Tennessee prosecutors after he failed to declare revenue from promoting cryptocurrencies while working as a consultant, as well as income from speaking engagements and selling the rights to his life narrative for a documentary.
The criminal charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail.
Last October, the entrepreneur was apprehended at Barcelona’s international airport.
At the time, a judge ordered McAfee to be remanded in custody pending the outcome of an extradition case.
McAfee rose to fame after founding McAfee Associates in 1987, which was ultimately purchased by Intel in 2010.
McAfee was involved in a number of other businesses after leaving McAfee Associates in 1994, including Tribal Voice and Zone Labs, as well as the cryptocurrency company Luxcore.
McAfee’s adventures, lifestyle, political opinions, and enthusiasm for bitcoin have made him a cult figure for many in recent years.
McAfee founder John McAfee charged in cryptocurrency scam