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John McAfee, 75, dies in Spanish prison, reports say

The antivirus software pioneer's extradition to the US had been authorized by a Spanish court earlier in the week, and made public Wednesday.

John McAfee

Antivirus software pioneer John McAfee was reportedly found dead in a Barcelona prison cell.

Louis Lanzano/Getty Images

John McAfee was found dead in his prison cell in Barcelona, multiple news outlets reported Wednesday. The 75-year-old antivirus software pioneer's death followed a Spanish court's approval of his extradition to the US earlier in the week -- the ruling was made public on Wednesday.

The death may have been by suicide, the Catalan justice department told Reuters. After the body was discovered around 7 p.m. local time, prison security attempted to revive him before his death was finally certified and a judicial delegation arrived to investigate the cause of death, the Catalan government told AP.

Spain's justice ministry didn't respond to a request for comment.

McAfee faced federal charges of tax evasion and fraud related to cryptocurrency schemes. He was charged with failing to file tax returns from 2014 to 2018, the Justice Department said last year. None of the charges, which the AP reported carry prison sentences of up to 30 years, were related to the McAfee antivirus software.

McAfee had been on the run since 2012 after allegedly being involved in a homicide in Belize. McAfee denied any participation. In 2019, McAfee tweeted that his only "crime is not filing tax returns" and claimed the rest of the charges against him were "propaganda by the US government to silence me."

He was arrested by the Dominican Republic Armed Forces while docking his yacht in Puerto Plata in July 2019. Multiple high-caliber weapons, as well as ammunition, were reportedly seized at the time. 

McAfee then went on the run in Europe. He was arrested in Barcelona in October 2020.

If you're in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Read: 13 suicide and crisis intervention hotlines to call or text when you need help