Multimillionaire tech innovator John McAfee, known for creating an eponymous anti-virus software, was found dead in a Spanish prison cell Wednesday, The Hill reported. He was 75.
According to Spanish authorities, it is believed that McAfee died by suicide. He was reportedly being held while awaiting extradition from Spain to the U.S. to face federal indictments for alleged tax evasion and fraud.
McAfee’s lawyer, Javier Villalba, confirmed the tech mogul’s death to Reuters, indicating that his client had died by suicide in the wake of a “cruel” nine months in prison.
The 75-year-old, who was a fugitive on the run from the federal indictments issued against him in the U.S., had been arrested at the airport in Barcelona, Spain, in October 2020 while attempting to travel to Istanbul, Turkey.
“This is the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long,” his attorney said.
Prior to being arrested in Spain, McAfee spent several years living on a megayacht and traveling the world with his wife, dogs, bodyguards, and staffers, Reuters reported.
Just days before his reported death by hanging, the Spanish high court had ordered McAfee extradited back to the U.S. to face the indictments awaiting him there.
If convicted of all the charges against him, McAfee could have been sentenced to up to 25 years in prison for tax evasion, as well as up to 50 years in prison for alleged fraud involving the buying and selling of various cryptocurrencies, according to The Hill.
To many, McAfee’s death hearkened back to the alleged suicide of ultra-wealthy convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in 2019 while he was awaiting trial in a New York City jail on sex trafficking charges.
Interestingly enough, the U.K.’s The Sun reported that McAfee had repeatedly expressed great skepticism with regard to official reports that Epstein had killed himself.
“You add all that stuff up, and I don’t see how a suicide is possible,” the tech mogul said in the months after Epstein’s death, according to The Sun.
It remains to be seen if similar conspiracy theories will spring up in the wake of McAfee’s untimely death behind bars.