Antivirus software pioneer John McAfee commits suicide hours after his extradition is approved

John McAfee 75, who founded the eponymous anti-virus company, was found dead in a Barcelona prison cell, just hours after a Spanish court agreed to extradite him to the United States to face tax evasion charges.

The controversial programmer was believed to have killed himself in the Spanish jail hours after court approved his extradition to US, where he faced possible decades in jail for tax offenses

The Catalan Justice Department said prison medics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate McAfee.

A statement from the Catalan Justice Department said “everything indicates” McAfee took his own life.

McAfee was an eccentric, controversial figure in the tech world, whose company released the first commercial anti-virus software.

Born in Gloucestershire, England, McAfee first came to prominence in the 1980s when he founded his tech company and released McAfee VirusScan.

McAfee VirusScan helped spark a multi-billion dollar industry in the computer world, and was eventually sold to technology giant Intel for more than $7.6bn (£4.7bn).

McAfee was arrested in Spain in October of 2020 after being indicted in the United States for tax evasion months earlier.

U.S authorities say he failed to file taxes for four years despite earning millions in income between 2014 and 2018 from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.

Spanish judges approved his extradition to face charges for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 tax years.

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