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Spanish court rejects appeal to reopen probe into John McAfee prison death

John McAfee, founder of the eponymous anti-virus company, speaks to journalists at the China Internet Security Conference in Beijing on Aug. 16, 2016.
John McAfee, founder of the eponymous anti-virus company, speaks to journalists at the China Internet Security Conference in Beijing on Aug. 16, 2016. Photo by FRED DUFOUR /AFP via Getty Images

BARCELONA, Spain — A Spanish court has turned down an appeal to reopen the investigation into the 2021 death of British-American tycoon John McAfee, the creator of McAfee antivirus software, who was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona as he awaited extradition to America.

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Authorities had determined that the 75-year-old killed himself and there was nothing to suggest otherwise, the court in Barcelona said Friday. The decision on the appeal was final.

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McAfee’s family had asked for the case, closed with the court’s suicide verdict in February 2022, to be reopened.

McAfee was arrested in October 2020 at Barcelona’s international airport and had been in jail awaiting a court decision on his extradition to the United States to face charges of evading more than $4 million in taxes. Prosecutors in Tennessee were seeking up to three decades of imprisonment for him.

McAfee had argued that the charges against him were politically motivated and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison if he returned to the United States.

The eccentric cryptocurrency promoter and tax opponent had a history of legal troubles that spanned from the U.S. to Central America to the Caribbean.

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