Alan Diaz / AP
American software pioneer John McAfee, 75, was found dead Wednesday in a Barcelona prison cell, according to McAfee’s lawyer, Nishay Sanan.
“I am saddened to hear of the events and my prayers go out to his wife Janice,” Sanan said in a statement. “John was and will always be remembered as a fighter. He tried to love this country, but the United States government made his existence impossible. They tried to erase him, but failed.”
Just hours earlier, a court in Spain had approved McAfee’s extradition to the United States, where he was to be tried on federal tax evasion charges.
An eccentric millionaire known for his eponymous antivirus software, McAfee what stopped in October 2020, for failing to file 2014-2018 tax returns in Tennessee.
In a separate investigation, the Security and Exchange Commission sued McAfee for a “pump and dump scheme” in which he allegedly made $ 23 million in undisclosed compensation by recommending cryptocurrencies on his Twitter page.
“McAfee’s recommendations were materially false and misleading,” according to the SEC’s lawsuit, also from October 2020.
Federal authorities also filed a civil case against McAfee for the same actions.
Sanan, his attorney, told NPR that he intended to fight all of the charges.
It wasn’t his first brush with the law. In 2012, McAfee was arrested in Guatemala, where he was accused of illegally entering the country. He had been on a highly publicized flight from his home in Belize since his neighbor’s murder.
In 2015, McAfee announced a third-party bid to the White House with his own party: the Cyber Party.
CeCe Craig, a former manager of the McAfee home in Woodland Park, Colorado, lived at the McAfee property for years in the early 2000s.
“I got the best of John McAfee. He was really interested in his yoga retreats. He loved playing the grand piano. We walked his land a lot,” he told NPR. “I learned a lot from him. When I lived with him, he was strongly against drugs and alcohol to focus on his yoga,” she said.
“He was a nerd. That’s how I always saw him.”