Business 24/06/2021

American tycoon John McAfee found dead in Can Brians prison

Justice points to suicide as the cause of death of the creator of the well-known antivirus, which had to be extradited to the U.S.

2 min
John McAfee, 2019 on his yacht in Havana harbor.

BarcelonaThe American tycoon John McAfee, creator of the well-known antivirus that bears his surname, has been found dead Wednesday in his cell in the Brians II prison, in Sant Esteve Sesrovires (Baix Llobregat), where he had entered on 4 October, as confirmed to ARA prison sources. Everything points to the fact that it could be a death by suicide.

McAfee was arrested in El Prat following an international search warrant issued by US authorities, where he was accused of having evaded millions of dollars in taxes and of being responsible for a $ 23 million fraud in operations with cryptocurrencies. This same Wednesday the National Court approved his extradition to the US.

According to a statement from the Department of Justice , "surveillance professionals and prison medical services have intervened immediately to practice resuscitation maneuvers but finally the doctors have certified death". A judicial committee is investigating whether the inmate, who was 75 years old, committed suicide or if the cause of death is finally another one.

Problems with justice

Considered a business visionary by a court of followers on social networks like Twitter, McAfee, known for having an extroverted personality and for his anti-establishment views, made his fortune thanks to the creation of a company specialising in anti-virus software, which he sold in 1994. From then on he moved on to other computer and internet-related businesses.

In 2012 he fled Belize, the country where he resided, when he was arrested for the shooting of his neighbour. He illegally entered Guatemala, where he was denied asylum, and to avoid extradition to Belize he faked two heart attacks. Eventually, however, Guatemalan authorities deported him to the U.S., where he was arrested again in 2015, this time for drunk driving and carrying a firearm. He was also expelled from the Dominican Republic in 2018 for weapons possession.

In these years he expanded his fortune by selling the rights to a documentary about his life and with cryptocurrency operations. In fact, in one of these operations he was denounced for swindling, which opened the door to the arrest warrant issued in the United States against him, along with the fact that for years he did not declare the profits to the US tax authorities.

In the months of lockdown, McAfee pretended on social networks that he was on the run moving around different countries of the world to avoid arrest, but a group of Twitter users residing in Baix Camp detected that he was actually permanently located to an old hotel, now disused, in Cambrils, where a few years earlier the Mossos d'Esquadra found a cryptocurrency farm. Finally, he was arrested at the airport of El Prat when he was trying to leave Spain.