John McAfee, the British-American anti-virus software entrepreneur and founder of McAfee Associates, was found dead in a prison cell near Barcelona on Wednesday, as he was awaiting extradition for tax evasion charges in the United States, according to a CNN report. He is believed to have committed suicide.
The Catalonia regional government Justice Department said that prison medical personnel and guards attempted to perform life-saving procedures after finding McAfee, but were unsuccessful. The statement said "everything indicates" that McAfee could have died by suicide.
Earlier that day, a three-judge panel at Spain's National Court in Madrid ruled that the 75-year-old McAfee could be extradited to the United States to face charges there, a National Court spokesman told CNN.
McAfee VirusScan helped to spawn a multi-billion dollar industry in the computer world, and was eventually sold to technology giant Intel for more than $7.6 bn.
John McAfee was arrested in Spain in October last year when he was about to board a flight to Turkey, and accused of failing to file tax returns in the USA for four years, despite earning millions from consulting work, speaking engagements, crypto-currencies and selling the rights to his life story.
McAfee was also accused in March on separate fraud and money laundering charges. He was accused by the US State Department of participating with a business partner in a scheme that earned more than USD 13 million by falsely promoting cryptocurrencies to unwitting investors.
CNN reported that in 2012, McAfee briefly vanished after fleeing his home in Belize because local police tried to question him on the death of his neighbour. However, he has denied involvement in the death and claimed he fled because he feared for his life.