John McAfee, libertarian firebrand and eccentric antivirus software creator, has been found dead in his Spanish prison cell, just hours after the Spanish high court authorized his extradition to the United States. The Catalan justice department confirmed McAfee’s death, which was first published by El Mundo.
The high court agreed to extradite McAfee, an American citizen, back to the U.S. to face tax evasion charges. According to a statement released by the justice department, “everything” indicates that McAfee died by suicide.
McAfee, who lived on the run and was the subject of numerous high-profile reports chronicling his libertarian lifestyle, was arrested at the Barcelona airport last October. He argued at an extradition hearing earlier this month that the accusations against him were politically motivated, linking the charges filed by the Internal Revenue Service to his failed bid to run as a Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. president in 2020.
Reuters reports that the Spanish prosecutor, Carlos Bautista, argued that McAfee was a tax dodger and dismissed McAfee’s claims that the indictments were politically motivated. He said that the Libertarian Party receives less than one per cent of votes in U.S. elections.
Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment in October against McAfee over charges of tax evasion and a willful failure to file tax returns. The indictment followed a statement by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it had brought civil charges against McAfee for allegedly making $23.1 million in undisclosed income from false and misleading recommendations for cryptocurrency.