in a day A Spanish court ruling in favor of his extradition has been announced, John McAfee He died in a prison cell outside Barcelona. The antivirus pioneer who became a fugitive was a 75-year-old.
McAfee has been detained in Spain since last fall, when he was arrested for tax evasion. The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission added to those fees in March, McAfee and co-accused on several counts It relates to two cryptocurrency schemes that allegedly spanned years. He would have faced up to decades in prison if convicted on all charges.
Security guards at Brians 2 prison found McAfee dead in his cell on Wednesday; In a statement submitted to Associated PressThe Catalan government indicated that McAfee had committed suicide. There was no request for comment on the Catalan government at press time.
“Confirmation came from our legal team in Spain that John was found dead in his cell. I am saddened to hear of the events and prayers for his wife Janice,” McAfee’s attorney, Nichai K. Sinan, said in a statement. He tried to love this country but the US government made his presence felt. Impossible. They tried to erase it but failed.”
After spending a young man in Roanoke, Virginia, and a series of short-term jobs, McAfee made his fortune from antivirus software. He founded McAfee Associates in 1987; His eponymous product was among the first of its kind. As detailed in A 2012 Final WIRED ProfileMcAfee was inspired by the spread of Brain, an early computer virus that infected computers around the world. He left his job at Lockheed to start a business outside his home. Within a few years, McAfee Antivirus has become ubiquitous. In 1992 he took up the company’s public offering. Two years later he left it, tens of millions of dollars richer than when he started.
For the scale of the 1990s through the 2000s, McAfee seemed to follow a similar path to other early technology success stories. He founded a yoga studio, set up an instant messaging company, and wrote some books. But as Joshua Davis wrote in 2012McAfee lost a large amount of money when the economy collapsed in 2008, and he moved to Belize that year. His behavior there became increasingly alarming; He modeled himself as a vigilante, hired guards and purchased weapons, and built a mysterious laboratory in his vast complex. In November of that year, authorities in Blaise described McAfee as a “significant person” in connection with the death of his neighbor. McAfee escape.
In the years since, McAfee has rebranded himself as a cryptocurrency pioneer and a provocateur. He promoted several coins on his active Twitter feed, and allegedly received a huge compensation for doing so behind the scenes. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also accused McAfee of carrying out a parallel scheme of “pumping and dumping,” in which he and his colleagues allegedly upload niche currency, induce people to buy it on social media, and sell on the resulting frenzy. McAfee intended to fight the accusations, according to Sinan.
He says something about how much has happened in McAfee’s life that his bid to run for president of the United States — he garnered some support in the 2016 libertarian primaries — hardly lived up to the sidelines. Or that by 2017, the man whose name was synonymous with antivirus was legally prohibited From mentioning “McAfee” in the context of cybersecurity, as part of a settlement with Intel, which Acquired the company in 2010 for nearly $8 billion.
John McAfee’s life was full of complications. His legacy was of apogee and nobility, and he was unique at all times.
If you or a loved one has thoughts about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
More great wired stories