John 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 Spain. United States for tax evasion.
His death was confirmed by his attorney, Nishay K. Sanan. Mr. McAfee is 75 years old.
McAfee was arrested in Spain in 2020 after prosecutors in the United States accused him of failing to file his taxes between 2014 and 2018, even as he made millions from “advertising cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking pledges and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary,” according to an indictment filed by the Justice Department last year.
He has resisted extradition to the United States, claiming that he faces political repression by US authorities in part because he opposes the fiat money system. But on Wednesday, the Spanish court said it would allow the Justice Department to request his extradition.
“The social, economic or any other involvement which the defense claims to possess does not confer him any immunity,” the ruling stated. The court also said that, besides the verbal charges, there was no “revealing data or indication that Mr McAfee may have been subject to any political persecution.”
Mr McAfee was also at the center of a media frenzy in 2012 surrounding the death of a neighbor in Belize. 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 emerged largely without Mr. McAfee, after he resigned from the company in 1994. Intel, the computer chip maker, acquired the company in 2010 for $7.7 billion, then sold most of his shares to an investment company six years later.
Before and after the Intel acquisition, the company tried to distance itself from Mr. McAfee. In 2014, Intel changed the company’s name to Intel Security, but it has never completely shaken off its attachment to the founder and the brand he helped create.
In 2016, when Mr. McAfee tried to use the name with a new security company, Intel filed a lawsuit to prevent him from doing so. Intel and Mr. McAfee settled the lawsuit, with Mr. McAfee agreeing not to use his name in the cybersecurity field.
Cade Metz contribution report.
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