John McAfee, the eccentric antivirus software pioneer, was found dead Wednesday in a Spanish prison, according to BBC, Associated Press, and Reuters.
His death occurred just hours after a National Court approved the 75-year-old cybersecurity tycoon’s extradition to the United States, where he was facing federal charges of tax evasion. McAfee had earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary, the AP reports.
In a statement, the Catalan justice department said his death appeared to be a suicide, according to Reuters.
McAfee was arrested in October at a Barcelona airport and was being held in custody until the extradition matter was resolved, according to AP.
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According to the indictment, from 2014 to 2018, McAfee “allegedly failed to file tax returns, despite receiving considerable income from these sources.” He also allegedly attempted to evade the IRS by concealing assets, including real property, a vehicle and a yacht, in the names of others, according to the indictment.
If convicted, McAfee had faced a maximum of five years in prison on each count of tax evasion and a maximum sentence of one year in prison on each count of willful failure to file a tax return.
McAfee went on the run from police in 2012 after his neighbor in Belize, Gregory Faull, a retired contractor who came to the country from Florida, was found fatally shot. McAfee was later arrested in Guatemala where he was accused of entering that country illegally.
McAfee argued in court that he was formally requesting asylum in Guatemala because he was being persecuted in Belize over the fatal shooting of the contractor, the AP reported.
In 2019, Zac Efron signed on to star in a biopic about McAfee, called King of the Jungle. The story centers around a journalist who goes to Belize to interview McAfee and gets caught up in the eccentric millionaire’s life, according to The Hollywood Reporter.