Anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee dies

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British-American computer programmer and businessman John McAfee has died.
British-American computer programmer and businessman John McAfee has died.

Anti-virus pioneer John McAfee has died by suicide in a Spanish prison, while waiting to be extradited to the US where he was facing tax evasion charges.

According to Reuters, McAfee's lawyer, Javier Villalba, said the anti-virus software pioneer died by hanging, as his nine months in prison brought him to despair.

It adds that during a court hearing last month, McAfee, 75, said given his age, he would spend the rest of his life in jail if convicted in the US.

“I am hoping that the Spanish court will see the injustice of this,” he said, adding “the United States wants to use me as an example.”

McAfee was a British-American computer programmer and businessman. He founded the software company McAfee Associates in 1987 and ran it until 1994, when he resigned from the company.

McAfee Associates achieved early success as the creator of McAfee’s first commercial anti-virus software, and the business now produces a range of enterprise security software. The company was purchased by Intel in 2011, though it still bears the McAfee brand name.

BBC reports that in October 2020, 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.

It notes the US Justice Department alleged McAfee evaded tax liability by having his income paid into bank accounts and crypto-currency 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, says BBC.

Spain’s National Court authorised his extradition to the US to face the charges on Wednesday morning.

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