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John McAfee, software pioneer turned fugitive, dies in Spanish prison

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John David McAfee, the founder of the antivirus software maker that bears his name, died in a prison in Spain on Wednesday, the same day a Spanish court ruled that he could be extradited to the United States for tax evasion.

His death was confirmed by his attorney, Nishay K. Sanan. McAfee was 75 years old.

McAfee was arrested in Spain in 2020 after prosecutors in the United States accused him of failing to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, even as he made millions for “promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting jobs, talks, and selling the rights to his story from lifetime. for a documentary ”, according to a accusation filed by the Justice Department last year.

He had resisted extradition to the United States, claiming he faced political persecution from U.S. authorities in part because he opposed the fiat money system, but on Wednesday, the Spanish court said it would allow the Justice Department’s request to extradite him. .

“The social, economic or any other relevance alleged by the appellant’s defense does not grant him any immunity,” the ruling stated. The court also said that in addition to the verbal allegations, “there was no revealing data or indications that McAfee might be the subject of political persecution.”

McAfee was also at the center of a media frenzy in 2012 surrounding the death in Belize of a neighbor. He fled his home there after police called him a “person of interest.”

McAfee, the software company he founded, was once a household name in computer security. But it rose to prominence largely without McAfee, after he resigned from the company in 1994. Intel, the computer chip maker, bought the company in 2010 for $ 7.7 billion and then sold its majority stake to a firm of investment six years later.

Before and after its purchase by Intel, the company tried to distance itself from Mr. McAfee. In 2014, Intel changed the company name to Intel Security, but never completely shed its link to its founder and the brand he helped create.

In 2016, when McAfee tried to use the name with a new security company, Intel filed a lawsuit to prevent it from doing so. Intel and Mr. McAfee settled the lawsuit, and Mr. McAfee agreed not to use his name in the cybersecurity field.

Cade metz contributed reports.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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