Antivirus Software Pioneer John MacAfee Kills Self In Jail

Madrid: Technology entrepreneur John MacAfee was found dead in his jail cell in Spain on Wednesday, shortly after a court approved his extradition to the United States, where he was wanted for tax evasion, AFP reported.

McAfee (75) was best known for launching the world’s first antivirus software in 1987.

His lawyer, Javier Villalba, said the antivirus software pioneer died by hanging himself as his nine months in prison brought him to despair, Reuters reported.

McAfee was detained at the Barcelona airport on October 3 last year when he was about to board a flight to Istanbul with a British passport. For years, he had been on the run from US authorities after being indicted in Tennessee on tax evasion charges and in a cryptocurrency fraud case in New York.

Earlier on Wednesday, Spain’s National Court had approved his extradition to the US. If convicted, he could have faced up to 30 years in prison.

During a court hearing last month, McAfee had said that given his age, he would spend the rest of his life in jail if convicted in the US.

McAfee worked for NASA, Xerox and Lockheed Martin before launching the antivirus software. He sold his software company to Intel in 2011 and no longer had any involvement in the business. The program still carries his name and has 50 crore users worldwide.

He became a self-styled cryptocurrency expert and claimed to make $2,000 (over Rs 1.48 lakh) a day, according to AFP.

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