On Wednesday, a government official told the Associated Press that John McAfee, the creator of McAfee antivirus software, was found dead in his cell in a prison near Barcelona.
A few hours ago, the Spanish court made a preliminary ruling in favor of his extradition to the United States to face criminal charges related to taxation.
A statement from the Catalan Regional Government stated that security personnel at the Brians 2 prison near the city in northeastern Spain tried to resurrect the 75-year-old McAfee, but the prison’s medical team eventually confirmed his death.
The statement did not name the American tycoon, but stated that he is a 75-year-old American citizen who is awaiting extradition to the country.
A Catalan government source who was not authorized to be named in media reports confirmed to the Associated Press that the deceased was McAfee.
The alleged allegations are politically motivated
The Spanish National Court ruled on Monday to support the extradition of McAfee. McAfee argued at a hearing earlier this month that the charges against him were politically motivated and that if he returns to the United States, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
The court’s ruling was announced on Wednesday and can be appealed. Any final extradition order also needs to be approved by the Spanish Cabinet.
Tennessee prosecutors accused McAfee of tax evasion because he failed to report his income from promoting cryptocurrency while doing consulting work, as well as income from speaking activities and selling the copyright of his life story to produce documentary income. Criminal charges are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The entrepreneur was arrested at Barcelona International Airport in October last year. At that time, a judge ordered McAfee to be detained in jail, awaiting the outcome of the extradition hearing.