Anti-virus software crusader John McAfee was found dead in his Barcelona prison cell, hours after a Spanish court agreed to extradite him to the United States to face tax evasion charges.
The Catalan Justice Department said prison medics tried to resuscitate him, but were not successful.
It said in a statement that “everything indicates” McAfee took his own life.
A controversial figure in the tech world, his company released the first commercial anti-virus software.
McAfee VirusScan helped to spark a multi-billion dollar industry in the computer world, and was eventually sold to technology giant Intel for more than $7.6 billion.
In October 2020, John McAfee was arrested in Spain when he was about to board a plane to Turkey, and accused of failing to file tax returns for four years, despite earning millions from consulting work, speaking engagements, crypto-currencies and selling the rights to his life story.
The US Justice Department alleged that McAfee evaded tax liability by having his income paid into bank accounts and cryptocurrency exchange accounts in the names of nominees.
He was also accused of concealing assets, including a yacht and real estate property, also in other people’s names.
Spain’s National Court authorised his extradition to the US to faces the charges on Wednesday morning.
In recent years, McAfee repeatedly claimed that there was a plot to get him, however the court said there was “no revealing evidence” that he was being prosecuted for political or ideological reasons, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
He also launched unsuccessful bids to become the Libertarian Party’s candidate for the presidential elections in 2016 and 2020.
In 2019 McAfee expressed his disdain for taxes, tweeting that he had not filed tax returns for eight years because “taxation is illegal.”
In the same year he was briefly detained in the Dominican Republic for allegedly bringing weapons into the country.
In 2012 he was arrested in Guatemala, having been on the run in Belize where police were investigating the death of his neighbour.
He always denied any involvement in the murder.