back to article John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer

British-American software tycoon John McAfee was found dead in his cell in a Barcelona prison on Wednesday. Spain’s high court – the Audiencia Nacional – had just hours earlier agreed to his extradition to America to stand trial. He was accused of tax evasion, and of breaking securities law while pocketing $23m from …

  1. Aslan
    Pint

    I'll miss him

    The world will be a more boring place without his antics. McAfee Antivirus was good software. At least he made it to 75, that was unexpected.

    This is internet gold, "how to uninstall McAfee antivirus", https://youtu.be/bKgf5PaBzyg .

    1. Sudosu

      Re: I'll miss him

      He was one of those individuals who are so full of life and energy that you never really expect them to be gone...until they are.

      “Too weird to live, too rare to die!”

      ― Hunter S. Thompson

    2. Jamie O'Brien
      Joke

      Re: I'll miss him

      You're telling me. This news brought me out of retirement because I am horrified. We lost a true gem whos antics brought me joy. First Epstein finds a way to avoid being found guilty AF, then Trump manages to avoid being found guilty AF twice! What next? Will my home state of NY manage to drop the ball as well?

      *sniffs*

      I'm gonna go make a VM, install McAfee then go full Jigsaw. I want to play a game.

    3. wolfetone Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I'll miss him

      When I grow up, I hope to be able to make the same sort of video.

      RIP, he will be missed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'll miss him

        "When I grow up, I hope to be able to make the same sort of video."

        Well, you'll have to make a choice.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll miss him

      I tried McAfee's antivirus in the early 90's, and at that point, it was terrible crap. The only antivirus software I've ever seen that would not notice when it was itself infected.

      Good marketing made it possible to fake it until they made it.

    5. LionelB

      Re: I'll miss him

      John McAfee has finally been uninstalled. RIP.

  2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    RIP

    A sad, and a little bewildering, end to a rambunctious life.

    He lived loud and a bit mad, but utterly prized his freedom. Perhaps a little too much, it seems.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: RIP

      If only he had run for President he would never have been charged with tax evasion. Sad to see so many people from the early days of computers who spent their lives trying to get things fixed, moving on to the next realm but he has my best wishes.

      Cheers John!

      1. J__M__M

        Re: RIP

        If only he had won you meant to say.

        1. Ken G
          Trollface

          Re: RIP

          Won the way Biden won in 2020 or won the way Trump won in 2020?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RIP

            Love all the downvotes, tears from liberals who can't find a leader in their own house.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: RIP

              Uh, AC old chap, I don't think it's the liberals who are crying. Projection?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: RIP

              you must be a merkin to not recognise sarcasm

      2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: RIP

        The CEOs of big corporations don't run for President. I think it's important to know who to donate money and keep it going...

    2. BillG
      Big Brother

      John McAfee Tweet From Prison Oct 15, 2020

      John McAfee @officialmcafee Tweet Date: Oct 15, 2020 -

      I am content in here. I have friends.

      The food is good. All is well.

      Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.

      https://twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/1316801215083225096

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: John McAfee Tweet From Prison Oct 15, 2020

        From his past antics, I'd suspect that of more being his last great disrupter than literally true.

  3. IceC0ld

    I never actually connected the dots re the anti virus and the crazy guy, but it finally dawned that they were one and the same fairly soon after, IIRC it was reading an article HERE on El Reg that the dots were aligned :o)

    gone, will not be forgotten for quite some time

    personally, I am of the belief that some people, if they didn't exist, would HAVE to be invented, I include the likes of Ollie Reed in there

    R.I.P.

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
      Happy

      Speaking of anti virus and connecting dots:

      Something I always found amusing was how he originally started a business in anti-virus for AIDS, and when that business faltered started a business in anti-virus for computers.

      Because they're the same thing, right?

      :D

    2. Ken G
      Pint

      I'll drink to that

  4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    RIP

    RIP to a real character.

  5. msknight Silver badge

    Now the dig begins...

    Always a controversial figure. I couldn't see him going to a US jail cell to rot. Something like this was always going to be on the cards, although I'd have thought that firearms and alcohol would have featured more prominently. Either way, his death is likely just the start. The US authorities are going to follow everything through and take apart all his friends and acquaintances in order to find the missing money.

    At least he's at peace... although I'd likely bet that various other people are probably starting to get very worried....

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Now the dig begins...

      "in order to find the missing money."

      What money? It all went to guns, booze, coke and hookers.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Now the dig begins...

        What money? It all went to guns, booze, coke and hookers.

        ...and the rest, alas, was wasted. (h/t George Best)

      2. Richard Jukes

        Re: Now the dig begins...

        And the rest he wasted...

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Moog42

    Legends don't fade away...

    Crazy guy, crazy life, but if you've been in tech over the decades you can't help but have been touched by the McAfee journey. His passing ages us all, RIP Sir.

  7. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Pirate

    One of God's own prototypes

    “There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

    ― Hunter S. Thompson

  8. tip pc Silver badge
    WTF?

    Why was he in a Spanish prison?

    I assume Uncle Sam wanted him for something, something deplorable.

    His character in halt and catch fire was likely not extreme enough

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

      Tax evasion

      guess he didnt have enough money to buy a few congress critters like the megacorps do....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

        I honestly didn't know you could get extradited for tax evasion/avoidance.

        I'd be completely in favour of his prosecution for the cryptocurrency frauds (as those harm read people) but surely all the US government need to do is sieze his assets or wait for him to die and tax his estate.

        1. Spanners Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

          Was the tax evasion for what he should have paid for while he was in the US or was it the fake tax that people from the US have to pay even though they have been living elsewhere for decades?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

            From what I've read it was tax he should of paid on income he received during his time in Oregon, income related to his crypto currency ventures. Prior to that he seems to have been living off the money he made from the sale of his anti-virus business, since his investments were pretty disastrous.

          2. Mage Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

            Even non-US citizens have to prove that they are not USA and fill a USA tax declaration every 3 years if they have any sort of sales account with any USA based company. Even if there is no income, otherwise the USA taxes any income at source.

            You have to give up USA citizenship or be a US Corporation to avoid USA Tax. Some other countries do this too. Your OWN country has to have a tax treaty with the country you are working in, and/or you need to prove you are not resident etc.

            1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

              Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

              Also if you're a US citizen, Uncle Sam insists you pay US taxes even though you may not live in the US. Only the US and Eritrea do this, as someone who's both British and Irish but lives in neither country, I pay only the taxes where I live.

              1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

                Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

                if you’re a US citizen, Uncle Sam insists you pay US taxes even though you may not live in the US.

                To be more precise, Uncle Sam insists that US citizens file Federal income tax returns that account for all income earned worldwide. For US citizens who live in other countries, the “foreign earned income exclusion” excludes the first $107,600 of income earned outside of the US (in 2020) from US federal taxation. Only overseas US citizens who earned more than that might owe US income taxes in addition to whatever income taxes were owed to their country of residence.

              2. Jaybus

                Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

                A US citizen still has to pay the taxes where they live. The taxes paid to other countries are deducted from what they would owe to the US (known as Foreign Tax Credit). If they live in a country with lower taxes than the US, then they will owe the US the difference. If in a country with higher taxes than the US, then they won't owe anything, but are still required to file a return form. Most end up in wealthier countries with similar or higher taxes, so it really is not that onerous.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I honestly didn't know you could get extradited for tax evasion/avoidance.

          well, clearly, for US tax evasion you can.

        3. Diesel

          Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

          What if taxation, is in itself, inherently unjust? Then we should praise the evaders right? If...

          So imagine this: One pays protection money to the gang leaders, and gets protection...maybe. And maybe it's a benefit you neither need nor want. Right? Nevertheless,one has to pay it on pain of death.

          Who are the biggest 'gang' of all? Government of all party's of course. You pay them tax, they give you protection, maybe, often neither wanted nor required. You may pay too much for it. Or too little. The benefits cannot easily be accounted for it's so unjust. Often the poor paying the most.

          But evade the tax, and they kill you. Or a little better, make your life a misery.

          Taxation is based on ability to pay it. Not benefits received from the recipients. So it's an unjust transfer if wealth, from those who produce the wealth, and those who ultimately end up with it.

          But the narrative will hypnotise us, making this impossible to see.

          1. lglethal Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

            Ok, so you dont need roads, hospitals, schools, fire departments, police, garbage collection... None of that is of use to you? Or perhaps you think it should be every user pays for everything on their own? So only the rich get to use hospitals, only the rich deserve to send their kids to schools, poor areas dont need garbage collection?

            As a rule, Taxes pay for those things we ALL use. Yes,some of it gets wasted, yes some of it gets spaffed on whatever bollocks the politicians think of next, and yes you might not agree on everything it gets spent on. BUT, the majority of it goes on those things which EVERYONE needs.

            Imagine a place where every road was a toll road. You'd be paying that toll forever if it was run by a private firm, not simply the one time build and occasional maintenance when its done by government. Imagine if all policing was only private, poor neighbourhoods would become no go zones and people would be locked into gated communities like some sort of dystopian nightmare. If fire departments where privatised, well you'd have to take out the right subscription or you might get the old PTerry visit "Nice place you got there, but that's a lot of wood in the construction, that would go up super quick if someone was foolish enough to play with matches nearby...*wink**wink*"

            You can argue about some of the spending (and thats why you vote, for the ones you think will spend your money the best), but in general, the purpose of taxation is to supply everyone with the things that everyone needs, to have a basic running society. Taxation in itself is not unjust. It can be unjust in its implementation, but that requires you to get off your butt and vote for a party to go in and fix the system to make it less unjust.

            1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

              "

              As a rule, Taxes pay for those things we ALL use.

              "

              That's the theory, and is the argument used to justify taxation. But if so, the government is providing the worst value for money than almost anything else. Tot up the tax you pay and you'll probably be surprised at how great a proportion of your income goes to the government. The last time I did so it amounted to nearly 90% of my income - and I can assure you that the government supplies a lot less than 90% of my total needs.

              Income tax (introduced as a temporary emergency measure to pay for the Napoleonic war). National insurance. Vehicle duty. Council tax. VAT. Huge tax on fuel, alcohol and tobacco. Then there are the more hidden taxes - everything you buy has included in its price the cost of business taxes, council tax on the retail and factory premises, fuel tax on the vehicles that distributed the goods, import tax. And then there's stamp duty, airport tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax that affect some of us from time to time.

              And the tax does not pay for all government services by any means. There are fees for licences, passports, parking on some public roads, court services and many other things supplied by the government. Some toll roads still exist, as do "congestion" and "pollution" charges.

              Add to that the fact that many of the things we need from government are things that the government has caused us to need in the first place. Arguably, had the government not invaded countries that did not present a threat to the UK, we would not be at risk from terrorist attacks and so not have to pay such a lot on defence and policing. Had the government not made so many items and substances illegal, we would not need so many police officers "protecting" us from the consequences of criminalising popular activities - the consequences of prohibition being far worse than the activities themselves.

              If the government really needs all that money to supply the population with essential things, how come it managed to supply all that was needed 200 years ago by taking only a fraction of people's total income as it does today?

              1. Cav

                Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

                "If the government really needs all that money to supply the population with essential things, how come it managed to supply all that was needed 200 years ago by taking only a fraction of people's total income as it does today?"

                You can't be serious? No one can be that ignorant of history.

                People died for the lack of simple necessities of life. Roads were abominable. There were no schools, other than basic charity - usually religious - schools. There were no military opponents with hideously expensive technology - all you needed were personal arms and lots of bodies.

                The disabled and sick just died.

                What a bizarre comment.

            2. naive Silver badge

              Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

              Sounds nice.. think about the schools and the kids when paying taxes.

              In this case it involves a corrupted banana Republic, where a billionaire whose wealth increases from 100 to 120 billion in a year doesn't pay a cent of taxes, and that all under the marketing banner of "freedom".

              Threatening someone with 30 years for evading taxes over a few million is out of proportion, he shouldn't have been jailed in Europe for this. It is sad EU countries are thralls of the US, aiding a self important feeling US security community to get their hands on people like Julien Assange and Edward Snowdon. Whose only crime was to reveal the crimes and anti constitutional actions of the US government.

              He should have been as smart as Marc Rich from Glencore, live happily ever after in Switzerland, where tax evasion is not recognized as a crime.

            3. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

              "None of that is of use to you?"

              For an American, it's not that simple.

              I live in France. I pay tax here. It puts Frenchies through school, fixes up the roads I drive on, and so on.

              My mother, an American, had to make expensive declarations (the tax form is not intended to be understood by mere mortals) and payments to educate kids and fix up roads in a country she hadn't lived in since the late 70s (and had no plans to go back to).

              I'm all for paying taxes where you reside or do business, but the American system is just weird.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

                "in a country she hadn't lived in since the late 70s (and had no plans to go back to)."

                If she wanted no part of it, why was she still paying all that money to remain a citizen? Sounds rather foolish to me.

                1. Swarthy
                  Stop

                  Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

                  Because it costs far more to stop being a citizen.

                  1. heyrick Silver badge

                    Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

                    Upvote to balance the downvote because while the monetary expenditure isn't that much (about $2500? (was a lot less)) there's also the emotional cost, plus the fact that you may well cease to be welcome in the US should you ever need to go back (if family is there), etc etc.

                    She said that renouncing her birth nationality wasn't an option and never discussed it further. Her life, her choice.

                    1. jake Silver badge
                      Pint

                      Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

                      I can totally respect that.

                      To yer DearOldMum.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

            @Diesel

            You should read Charles Tilly to help clarify your thoughts.

        4. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: Why was he in a Spanish prison?

          Evasion is illegal!

          Avoidance is not!

          Just for clarity.

  9. DS999 Silver badge
    Holmes

    He faked a heart attack in Belize to escape US extradition

    So I wouldn't consider it completely out of the realm of possibility that he bribed Spanish officials to help him fake his own death to again escape US extradition...

  10. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Oblig XKCD obit

    Norton MacAfee protection if you're ever attacked by John MacAfee, Peter Norton will come out of retirement to defend you

    Plus: https://xkcd.com/463/

    Not many of us will get two name-checks there.

    1. Timbo

      Re: Oblig XKCD obit

      In the early-mid 1980s, if you had a PC, there were various tools you needed...

      McAfee - anti-virus - esp when "sneaker-net" was the norm...

      Norton Utilities - such as NDD, (Norton Disk Doctor), SD (Speed Disk), etc

      XTree - for File management under DOS

      4DOS - a replacement for command.com

      RIP Mr McAfee....you will be remembered by "old hands" as a significant player in the early years of the PC and by "younger hands" as a bit of a rascal !

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Oblig XKCD obit

        "In the early-mid 1980s, if you had a PC, there were various tools you needed... "

        Nah. Just one. MWC's Coherent.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Oblig XKCD obit

          I bought a copy of Coherent at some point, but it turned out it didn't support whatever hardware I had at the time. (Details are fuzzy now.)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Oblig XKCD obit

            MWC was quite explicit about the hardware that they supported. Remember, the thing was written entirely in assembler and thus was very hardware specific. I saved my pennies for a month or so to purchase a supported I/O card (something about my existing UART, if I remember correctly) ... cost a bit, but at least I had a serial printer to go along with my parallel version, which worked nicely alongside my modem ... the other two serial ports supported two VT-100s, to go along with the console. An affordable three-headed system, in the early 80s, at home :-)

  11. acow

    a la Epstein

    https://twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/1316801215083225096?s=19

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: a la Epstein

      That comment was made 9 months ago. A lot can change with someone's mental state in 9 months, especially when locked up in Prison with no end in sight.

      If that post was made in the last month, maybe it might have more meaning, but 9 months ago, worthless. Except to conspiracy theorists of course...

    2. Ozan

      Re: a la Epstein

      I think he would post this and then hang himself just mess with people when in his death. He was that kind of a guy.

  12. spireite Bronze badge
    Coat

    Was he found by Alejandro Vicente Garcia?

  13. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

    Ouch. love a good conspiracy, but I have to say, I suspect he may owe the taxman a considerable amount.

    Colourful chap.

    1. CuChulainn

      It's A Very Complicated Story...

      And it doesn't have closure just yet.

      McAfee was the first paid-for AV I used. I stopped when it became a subscription/yearly thing and my licence expired - though nowadays they all work like that, but back then they didn't. And it was becoming a bit bloated towards the end (in my opinion).

      Wouldn't wish what's happened to him on anyone. Christ, he was 75 and faced 30 years in a US jail.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

        "Christ, he was 75 and faced 30 years in a US jail."

        Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

          I just turned on "thumbs" for a laugh, and as expected have several down.

          So please tell me, down-thumbers, do you actually think one should be allowed to do the crime, and yet not have to do the time when caught? Really? Have you thought that through?

          1. Draco
            Windows

            Have you thought that through?

            You probably got voted down because people saw your comment as emanating from a jackbooted Stasi informant.

            There's a couple of points related to crime and punishment:

            1) Just because there is a law for or against something doesn't mean it is a just law.

            2) The punishment for breaking a law may or may not be appropriate to the "injury" caused by the crime.

            M understanding from reading the article is that he was accused (probably credibly - by his own admission he hadn't file taxes), but that was yet to be proven in a court of law and a sentence assigned.

            --------

            Consider Prohibition in the United States of America during the early 20th Century.

            Spouting, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime", makes you sound like a state puppet.

            1. First Light Silver badge

              Re: Have you thought that through?

              He was a flight risk and had evaded extradition in the past. It was reasonable for a judge to lock himup.

            2. jake Silver badge

              Re: Have you thought that through?

              Yeah, that's me, a jackbooted stasi informant. Right. Whatever.

              The fact is, countries have laws. If you break them, you pay the penalty. What they are, and what the penalty is, varies from country to country. As a citizen of a country, you must obey those laws. If you don't agree with those laws, you have two options. The first is to get them changed (possible, but difficult here in the US). The second is to renounce your citizenship.

              John chose to do neither. He chose to ignore them. Which eventually caught up with him.

              This does not make him a hero. It makes him an idiot.

              There is a reason that there is a saying "Nothing's certain but death and taxes." John demonstrated this by choosing the easy way out. Again, this does not make him a hero. It makes him a coward.

              I'm no fan of the US tax system, but I live within it. I understand it. Fact is, he had enough money that if he hired a halfway decent CPA[0] he probably wouldn't have had to pay taxes and be on the run all the time. Legally, too. But no, he knew better. This doesn't make him a hero, either. It just means he was deluded.

              Stop deifying him. It makes all y'all sound like children with stars in your eyes.

              [0] Even a joint like H&R Block could have taken care of it for him for a measly couple hundred bucks per year ... hardly worth dying over. And the IRS would have left him alone completely if he scribbled some notes on a piece of paper, included a check for a couple hundred bucks as an "estimate" of what he owed ... just showing an intent to pay will keep you out of their bad books.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Have you thought that through?

                > The fact is, countries have laws. If you break them, you pay the penalty.

                What penalty?

                He's found responsible for the death of his neighbour and the US authorities don't give a toss - just pay some compensation and the grieving relatives can be grateful.

                But don't file a tax return - that's serious

            3. aqk
              Devil

              Re: Have you thought that through?

              ....emanating from a jackbooted Stasi informant...

              Ah! You mean the standard American trumpoid.

          2. Frank Fisher

            Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

            Tax evasion isn't a crime. Starving the beast is a moral good.

            1. cmdrklarg

              Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

              Ah yes, the GOP mantra: "Government is bad!" while doing everything in their power to make it that way.

          3. dajames Silver badge

            Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

            ... do you actually think one should be allowed to do the crime, and yet not have to do the time when caught?

            No ... but the point is that you aren't allowed to do the crime at all -- that's what it means to be a crime -- and that "doing the time" shouldn't be seen as "payment" for the crime, but rather as a deterrent.

            That "if you can't to the time" comment seems to suggest that the crime is OK if duly paid for in "time", but that's not so.

            Methinks It's the trite soundbite people are objecting to.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

              "That "if you can't to the time" comment seems to suggest that the crime is OK if duly paid for in "time""

              Only if you;re a simpleton. What it means is if you do the crime you can expect to get caught, prosecuted and sentenced.

              It's not trite. It's reality. Especially when it comes to the IRS. Fucking with the Infernal Revenuers always comes back to bite you. Always. That's how they got Capone, just as one example.

        2. The Axe

          Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

          He broke an American law whilst being outside America. The weird thing about US tax law is that just being a citizen means that even if you're not in the country for years, and only earn money outside the country, you still have to pay US tax on it.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

            Remind me again why so many British pop/rock stars became US citizens? Something about taxes, wasn't it?

            1. Jim Mitchell Silver badge

              Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

              America just has better groupies.

          3. batfink Silver badge

            Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

            It's not just the US. Australia is the same.

            1. lglethal Silver badge

              Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

              No, just no. As an Australian living in Europe, I do not pay Australian taxes, nor do I have to file yearly Australian tax returns. You do have to declare that you are not a resident for tax purposes, and show that you are living outside of the country and not earning money in Australia, but thats kind of part and parcel of not being a resident for tax purposes.

              The only time that doesnt apply is if you have a government debt (for example, HECS (which is the government assistance loan that pays your university course costs until you start working)). If you have a debt like that, then since 2018, I think it was, you have to file a tax return, so that they can work out how much of your debt you have to pay back that year. But you dont actually pay Aussie taxes on your income.

          4. ST Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

            > He broke an American law whilst being outside America.

            No, he broke US Tax Laws while residing in the US.

            And instead of having the balls to face the music, he fled the country, became a fugitive, and then everything turned to shit for him. So he started playing the victim. To a primarily British audience that apparently finds sympathy for him.

            Had he handled it in his own self-interest, he could have solved his US tax problems by paying some huge fine, and that would have been the end of it. But no, he chose to cut and run, and became a fugitive. Which is a much bigger offense than tax evasion.

            So, not only he was a tax cunt, he was also a complete moron.

            Truly, a role model for all of us. /s.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

              And not forgetting, of course,. that the whole point of extradition treaties is that, in general, if you commit a crime in your home country and flee to another where that would also be a crime, then you will be extradited. Obviously it's a bit more complicated than that, but that's the jist of it.

      2. S4qFBxkFFg

        Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

        "Christ, he was 75 and faced 30 years in a US jail."

        I could imagine him carrying out his own defence and requesting a reduction to life.

        Seriously though, it all feels depressingly unnecessary. These problems could maybe be avoided if taxation was simplified and applied at a far earlier part of the transaction chain. (Yes, I'm aware of some of the reasons why that wouldn't survive the legislative process required; we can still wish.) There'd be less need for harsh enforcement if collection was easier.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

        "Christ, he was 75 and faced 30 years in a US jail."

        An ex-copper was sentenced to 28 years for sex offences the other day. He's 69. And will have to spend 6 whole years on the sex offenders register release. Mind you, this is a UK prison, not a US one and the usual procedure is release on licence after 50% of server time. Then again, a 69 tear old ex copper in prison. And it's not likely to be a very low category or open prison, at least not for the first few years. He might not make it out.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Colourful?

      I suspect he may owe the taxman a considerable amount.

      No 'suspect' about it, that's why he was wanted.

      When an individual blatantly breaks tax law and doesn't pay what he owes the reaction is "Yay, go John, stick it to THE MAN", but when a business employs perfectly legal means to reduce its taxes we get reactions like "JAIL BEZOS NOW". People are strange.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Colourful?

        "People are Hypocrites."

        FTFY

      2. Spanners Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Colourful?

        ...doesn't pay what he owes...

        I was starting to understand that this was income tax for the many years he lived outside the USA.. That is not the same as owing anything. That is just evidence that the USA thinks it owns the world.

        1. First Light Silver badge

          Re: Colourful?

          It's an obligation of US citizenship. You can renounce your US citizenship if you want.

          He didn't break rules to make a statement about the rules. He was just a nutter.

          1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Colourful?

            You have to show evidence that you've paid all your taxes before you're allowed to renounce, though.

            1. Warm Braw Silver badge

              Re: Colourful?

              And pay a fee of $2350.

      3. Fading
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Colourful?

        Just a thought - they may not be the same people.

  14. Matthew Anderson

    Noooo. Just noooo. Hope he's trekking his way through Europe right now, disguised as a blind armless skateboarder, off to dig up a million bucks or access a stuffed bitcoin wallet. Kudos my man, the stuff of legends.

  15. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Last seen

    talking about investment strategies with Tupac

    1. aqk
      Pint

      Re: Last seen

      I'd say he had the inside track on D.B.Cooper, and was planning to meet him.

      But maybe he WAS D.B.Cooper.

  16. Zbig
    Thumb Down

    Seriously, people...

    He was a thug and a murderer - what's with all the obituaries? Is that because he was born British?

    1. Stanislav Bonita
      Thumb Up

      Re: Seriously, people...

      Yep, he was also a mysogynistic asshole and his software was crap.

      I have never understood the human propensity to don rose-coloured glasses as soon as someone has joined the choir invisible.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Seriously, people...

        The kids in this forum seem to think life is all GTA and other video games.

        Sadly, there is no saving your position in real life, nor are there do-overs.

        Get it right the first time, children. You won't have another chance.

    2. ST Silver badge

      Re: Seriously, people...

      > Is that because he was born British?

      Yes.

      The fact that he was a psychotic asshole notwithstanding.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Seriously, people...

        A character for sure and the world is a little less interesting with him gone. And as for the quality of the software, at least some versions a few years ago, one can only wonder at the rarity of claiming that it's the system caused McAfee to hang this time.

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Seriously, people...

      ...and a conman and a sex offender and...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Seriously, people...

        ... and a snake-oil salesman and ...

    4. Martin Silver badge

      Re: Seriously, people...

      Indeed. He's not a "character* - he sounds a revolting guy. Can't understand why everyone is so nice about him in these comments.

      I wouldn't have wished him dead, but now he's gone I don't think the world is a worse place.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously, people...

        "Can't understand why everyone is so nice about "

        I think it's because he was for the most part Honest about his shenanigans.

        While most A hole types lie about it. and he was entertaining.

  17. A. Coatsworth
    Pint

    This is the time of alternative facts so I choose to believe he faked his dead and is currently sailing the Mediterranean with a boatful of very questionable associates.

    We will hear new shenanigans from him soon enough.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you know the US prison system is seriously f*cked up when people would rather commit suicide than face incarceration.

    1. jake Silver badge

      As opposed to what, exactly?

      I suppose there a prison system somewhere on this planet you would want to spend time in. Do you have a regular yearly time-slot booked for yourself and t'missus? No? Why on earth not?

      Seriously, it's not supposed to be a vacation, you know.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: As opposed to what, exactly?

        I suppose there a prison system somewhere on this planet you would want to spend time in

        Yes, in Norway

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: As opposed to what, exactly?

          You want to spend time there? Really?

          Please, get yourself invited in for a few years. When you get out, please come back and let us all know how wonderful it was. We'll wait. At the beach. Or on a mountain. Or down the pub. Or somewhere else, depending on what sounds good at the time.

      2. Confuciousmobil

        Re: As opposed to what, exactly?

        In civilised countries your loss of liberty is your punishment.

        In the USA you go to prison to be punished.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: As opposed to what, exactly?

          So in civilized countries you don't go to prison when you lose your liberty?

          Neat trick, that.

          1. idiot taxpayer here again

            Re: As opposed to what, exactly?

            @jake

            In a civilised country you don't go to a "run for profit" hell hole that is laughingly referred to as a prison

          2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

            Re: As opposed to what, exactly?

            > So in civilized countries you don't go to prison when you lose your liberty?

            > Neat trick, that.

            Losing your liberty without going to prison is easily achieved: it's called a curfew, enforced via an ankle tag.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: As opposed to what, exactly?

              "Losing your liberty without going to prison is easily achieved: it's called a curfew, enforced via an ankle tag."

              And that's not jail? Try it for a couple years. Report back.

              You won't ... you value your freedom.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US prison system

      Yeah

      I hear the places are full of bad people!

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: US prison system

        With the highest per-capita incarceration rate, there's a suspicion that US prisons aren't full of just bad people, there's some slightly naughty people and quite a lot of, "you look bad to me" people too.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: US prison system

          To be fair, it's not the prison system that's inherently bad (although it is WAY overcrowded, which does bad things to people). It's the laws that are atrocious and in drastic need of an overhaul.

          Has nothing to do with John, though. He was busted for tax evasion. He'd have been going to jail for that in almost every country on Earth.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: US prison system

            No just countries which charge tax on non residents.

            1. First Light Silver badge

              Re: US prison system

              He could easily have taken up citizenship of another country and renounced his US citizenship thus avoiding all US taxes for life.

          2. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: US prison system

            Most people convicted of tax evasion in the UK don't go to jail, they pay a huge fine. The absolute maximum custodial sentence would be 7 years - and you'd be out in 3.5 years on license.

            30 years for not paying the government, that's a bit excessive.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: US prison system

              "that's a bit excessive."

              That's subjective.

              1. idiot taxpayer here again

                Re: US prison system

                @Jake.

                So what would you, non subjectively, call excessive?

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: US prison system

                  It's ALL subjective. But it's the law. And the law is an ass.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: US prison system

                Jake the Yank backing awful people.

                What a surprise. Enjoy your downvotes.

                1. jake Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: US prison system

                  Ah, my favorite nameless, faceless blob of grey goo chips in ... Nice to see you again, is all well with you? Mind if I ask a couple questions?

                  What "awful people" am I backing, in your mind? Name names. Inquiring minds want to know. Note that I am NOT backing the memory of McAfee, who actually was an awful person. How about yourself?

                  As for thumbs, just for you I'll turn them back on long enough to do a little counting ... Looks like I have (as I type) precisely 155 thumbs down in this thread ... but I have 156 thumbs up. That's over 50% up ... not exactly what you expected, is it? You, on the other hand, are currently at exactly 100% down as I type, with your singular thumb. I guess nobody loves you enough to stick a thumb up. Bummer.

                  Have a beer?

            2. First Light Silver badge

              Re: US prison system

              He would have to be tried and sentenced first. That's one possible outcome it's NOT a mandatory sentence.

  19. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    New QAnon conspiracy in 10, 9, 8…

    Smuggled away to live on Epstein's secret island with Elvis and Hitler.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: New QAnon conspiracy in 10, 9, 8…

      "Donkey" rides on the beach with Shergar?

  20. Clausewitz 4.0
    Devil

    Reasons

    No immunity. Plus bad prison climate.

  21. ShortStuff

    Living it Up

    He paid off the prison staff and is now living it up on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific .. or so I'm told :-)

  22. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    What a tragic saga

    But at least it looks like he enjoyed it. I'm wondering which studio will get the rights for the film, there will be a film right?

    Tramp as he looks surprisingly like John.

  23. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Pint

    Death of a Salesman

    A weird personage, whose adventures and craziness made him attaching... as long as you weren't his neighbour.

  24. arachnoid2 Bronze badge

    Well at least

    It wasnt a virus that took him........

  25. Hol314

    I too felt a bit of a tang learning the news about this hugely entertaining “character”, who also seemed to be a horrendous human being (I know, who am I to judge).

    Someone has got to write a uchronia in which he beats Trump in 2016…

    1. Major Page Fault

      Just want to thank you for using the word "uchronia", I have never heard of it and I am now a bit smarter after learning it.

      1. Hol314

        You're welcome but it really is just a neologism that hasn't yet made it to dictionaries...

  26. 45RPM Silver badge

    There are many things that I disagree with that he espoused (not paying taxes being one of them… but that’s uh nuther story), I’ve had my fill of conspiracy theories and craziness, and I’ve had my fill of the objectification of women. But still, he was a character, I would like to have bought him a beer and chatted to him (though he could more than afford his own, and there are many more people he would have preferred to talk to!), and he will be missed. He definitely ripped up the rule book when it comes to defining what a geek is!

    1. First Light Silver badge

      Would you leave him alone with your underage female relatives?

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Of course not. But I’m always interested in hearing the other persons perspective. Even proper wrong’uns.

  27. hammarbtyp

    QAnon

    He went out the way he always wanted...not with a whimper, but with a conspiracy theory

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: QAnon

      I realize people who believe in QAnon aren't the brightest but if the US actually wanted him dead they could have simply whacked him any time any where. e.g. throw him off the side of his boat and make it look like an accident. Or just wait for him to be extradited and slip something into his food, water, medicine that gave him cancer, a heart attack or whatever.

  28. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Great bloke ...?

    So the next "obviously doesn't pay their share of tax" being hounded for their billions will be ... Bezos? Zuck? Or, because they are in the pockets of the politicians do they get a "get out of jail free" card?

    McAfee stuck two fingers up at authority instead of playing the political game, that was his only mistake ( ... give or take some drug smuggling, a bit of murdering, and odd rape and sex with a minor ... all alleged obviously)

    1. First Light Silver badge

      Re: Great bloke ...?

      He wasn't doing it to make a statement - he behaved the way he did because he was nuts.

      Please do not trivialize rape. I hope it never happens to you or yours.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Or, because they are in the pockets of the politicians

      The other way around.

    3. A Nother Handle

      Re: Great bloke ...?

      There's no need for the "alleged" caveat. The dead can't sue for libel so we can just say he was a murdering rapist.

    4. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Great bloke ...?

      He was a drug dealer, probably murdered someone, went on the lam, dodged taxes and operated scams for years. Colourful yes, great bloke no.

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Great bloke ...?

      "( ... give or take some drug smuggling, a bit of murdering, and odd rape and sex with a minor ... all alleged obviously)"

      Can you slander the dead? Not sure "allegedly" is needed now, maybe just an "in my opinion" is safe enough. I guess it depends on how rich and if "the estate" wants to try suing.

  29. First Light Silver badge

    Snipes

    Wesley Snipes spent time inside for tax evasion. As the article points out, you just have to file your taxes. He could have paid an accountant.

    Disappointed at the commentariat's idolization of this horrible man. Just because you are dissatisfied with your boring IT job and suffering from suburban ennui, doesn't mean this mentally ill criminal was some kind of hero.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Snipes

      Ah but when he came out he was a weapons expert, black belt ninja. AND he could knit.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never knew he was from Cinderford

    It explains a lot.

    It was a big scary ride. He made his mark. RIP.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Never knew he was from Cinderford

      New to me too.

      I do know the place.

      Used to be some lovely pubs between Gloucester and there.

  31. Dwarf Silver badge

    Cryptocurrency

    What happens to his cryptocurrency ?

    With "proper money", there is a process to move it after some one dies, but what happens to crypto currency given that it needs the real owner to do stuff to access their wallet.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Cryptocurrency

      It sits there until some hackers break into his wallet and make off with the "currency".

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    influence of Xanax

    I thought that was a planet in Doctor who; like Bandraginus Five and Calufrax. Then I remembered it's called Zanak.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: influence of Xanax

      I've been on Calufrax for 5 years now. It does wonders for sorting out my piles...

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: influence of Xanax

        I have many fine qualities but an infinite capacity for patience isn't one of them.

  33. goretsky

    Hello,

    After all the trash and unfunny memes I saw today, it was nice to come here and see a few positive comments about Mr. McAfee and the software.

    He stopped coming into the office every day in 1993, and by 1994 was gone from the company. At the time, the company had DOS and OS/2 and NetWare versions, and that was kind of it (the "Windows" version just launched the DOS version in a shell). Mr. McAfee took a lot of pride in the software that bore his name, and that feeling spread from the top all the way down the engineering side of the company. It wasn't until the suit-wearers came in and took over that the software changed, and by that time, Mr. McAfee was long gone and had nothing to do with it.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky

    1. ConsumedByFire

      Tell us more Aryeh.

      Was he bonkers then? Could you foresee his path?

      1. goretsky

        Hello,

        Apologies for the delay in a reply; I didn't realize I had a response to my post until now.

        Mr. McAfee was not insane. He was very savvy about drawing attention to himself, and used to spend time thinking about what he could say to do that. The fact that things he said still get talked about years later is sort of a testament to how well that worked out.

        I had always just assumed he would be extradited back the United States, and then apply the same set of responses to his trial. I really did not expect him to do what he did, but in a way, I can understand why he must have felt that was his path. He had spent decades being completely in charge of his own life. And I think this is the way he saw that he could remain that way.

        Regards,

        Aryeh Goretsky

  34. steviebuk Silver badge

    Sad end

    Wasn't much of a fan but growing up in the 80s and getting into computers in the 90s his name was well known along with his software.

    Although he did the part of life I've always thought about with people who make a few million. Why not just quit and enjoy the money. He did, a little on the crazy side though, but still got out of the computing game to just enjoy the money. Unless you truly enjoy it, more fun just sitting back and enjoying the money instead of having to deal with office politics.

    Only other one I know did that was Bryce Cogswell from Wininternals. They sold to Microsoft in 2006 but I believe part of the buyout was both Mark and Bryce had to continue to work for Microsoft for 4 years I think it was, until they could cash out (sounded like that was the deal anyway from what Mark has said in his "unexplained" talks about Bryce). Mark carried on with Microsoft and now head of Azure but Mark said Bryce retired, I assume, to enjoy the freedom the money bought him.

  35. Matthew Taylor
    Pint

    RIP

    One of a dying breed of wild men. He knew what freedom was. I shall raise a glass.

  36. Draco
    Paris Hilton

    This might be his last long interview

    Candace Horbacz may have been one of the last long podcast interviews with him (about 50 minutes, released 01-Oct-2020):

    (age restricted on Youtube, but the audio file on her site is not)

    https://www.chattingwithcandice.com/11-john-mcafee-millionaire-renegade-living-life-his-way/

  37. HammerOn1024

    Neil Young

    It's better to burn out than to fade away.

    Later dude!

  38. professore

    Which is more likely?

    "Now, thanks to that, people are convinced McAfee was killed by Uncle Sam. It's claimed he had dirt on the Clintons, which is music to the ears of QAnon supporters. But what's more likely? The US government, having exactly what it wanted – the chance to drag McAfee back home to make a literal prime-time example of him – decided instead to end him in a Barcelona cooler.

    Or that a 75-year-old McAfee was done running. Which is more likely?"

    In the crazy upside down world we currently live in, who the hell knows?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oliver stone film on the way

    Macafee starring Matthew McConaughey.

    They probably had regular correspondence. 'Do more nutty stuff to make the film entertaining'.

  40. DrXym Silver badge

    And he deliberately coordinated it

    Just after he hung himself his Instagram feed spouted out a giant Q. This was a deliberate suicide and he asked someone to post that to allow the minds of his idiot followers and conspiracists everywhere to let their untethered imaginations run riot.

    1. Ordinary Donkey

      Re: And he deliberately coordinated it

      Other people had access to his social media accounts. We found this out when he was arrested, so there's no need to go drawing big conclusions to the fact that one of them responded to his death with a swift and low effort shitpost.

  41. kwh

    Surely a more plausible BS conspiracy theory is that once he was nailed on to die in a US Prison, somebody powerful that he had the goods on who he knew that he would be bound to flip on them to save himself from that fate had him whacked. Think Russian mob or somesuch.

  42. Old one

    Laws for thee - NOT me...

    And there are still a number US DEMORAT Congressional people who have owed millions in back takes and other claims for decades that re NOT being prosecuted.. OMB showed Killary walked out of the Whitehouse with over $225,000 of US gov't owned items and only returned about $21,000 of them but never been prosecuted for the "mistake". The SWAMP is a massive tool of the mega rich puppet masters.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Laws for thee - NOT me...

      Oh, look. An original thought. How refreshing.

      ::yawns::

    2. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Laws for thee - NOT me...

      Ironic considering Trump was REALLY bad and far from "Draining the swamp" he added to it massively and became the Don of the swamp (as in the most corrupt person in it)

  43. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

    McAfee Expired

    ... The headline that should have been.

  44. jobst

    Maybe he isn't dead?

    Maybe he paid a few people **LOTS** of money to make it look like he's dead.

    It's a possibility and would not surprise me a little bit.

  45. Rob1

    RIP

    For better or for worse, the world needs a mad Pirate every now and then. Clearly touched by both brilliance and insanity (somewhere on the spectrum). RIP crazy pirate..

  46. Ashto5

    Never met him

    Never met him

    But his bloody software has killed a lot of my machines over the years, reducing powerful pc’s to spluttering husks.

    Sounds like a guy to party with but not let into your life.

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