Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2021. 1:56 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that John McAfee, 75, tech billionaire and eccentric at the center of a high-profile murder case in Belize some years ago, was found dead in a prison cell in Barcelona, Spain, this evening.
Earlier, according to Reuters, the Spanish High Court authorized the extradition of McAfee, an antivirus software creator, to the United States where he faces tax evasion charges.
McAfee, arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020, said during an extradition hearing this month that the accusations against him were politically motivated. He could have appealed against the court’s extradition authorization, according to reports.
He had linked the charges filed by the Internal Revenue Service to his failed bid to run as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a second such attempt.
The Spanish prosecutor, Carlos Bautista, said McAfee was just a tax dodger and dismissed the accusation of political motivation, insisting the Libertarian Party rarely gains more than one percent of votes in U.S. elections.
U.S. federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment in October against McAfee over charges that he evaded taxes and willfully failed to file returns.
That came shortly after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it had brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging he made over US$23.1 million in undisclosed income from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.
The Spanish court authorized the extradition but only to face charges related to his tax returns for 2016, 2017 and 2018 as the prosecution had asked.
McAfee remains a person of interest in the 2011 murder of Gregory Faull in Ambergris Caye, Belize District, though he refused to speak to authorities here and fled to Guatemala before being extracted to the U.S. He was later found liable in a wrongful death suit and got involved in multiple legal issues over the years before his untimely passing.
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