Monero’s former maintainer arrested within the US for allegations unrelated to cryptocurrency


Riccardo Spagni, the previous maintainer of the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency, was arrested final month in Nashville, Tennessee on fraud fees tied to alleged offenses in South Africa between 2009 and 2011. 

Spagni was on board a non-public jet scheduled to fly to Los Cabos, Mexico when he was apprehended in Nashville throughout a scheduled refueling cease, in keeping with court docket paperwork. His journey initially started simply exterior of New York City. The court docket paperwork state he’s at the moment within the custody of the U.S. Attorney General.

The arrest was made on the request of the South African authorities, which is searching for Spagni’s extradition on fraud fees. The fees, that are unrelated to Spagni’s function at Monero, are tied to his earlier employment as an info expertise supervisor at an organization known as Cape Cookies. Regarding Spagni’s alleged misdeeds, the court docket paperwork learn:

“As an employee of Cape Cookies, SPAGNI intercepted invoices from another company, Ensync, relating to information technology goods and services it had supplied Cape Cookies. SPAGNI knowingly used false information to fabricate similar invoices purporting to be from Ensync, relying on details including this company’s Value Added Tax (VAT) number and bank account information. SPAGNI then inflated the prices for the goods and/or services.”

Related: FBI arrests 24-year-old crypto dealer for commodities and wire fraud

The Government of South Africa alleges that the invoices didn’t comprise the actual checking account of Ensync, however slightly a checking account opened and managed totally by Spagni.

In the court docket submitting, Acting United States Attorney Mary Jane Stewart requested that the court docket deny any bail requests by Spagni “pending resolution of this extradition proceeding.” The doc describes Spagni as a flight danger with a robust motivation to flee to keep away from dealing with fees. He’s believed to have “significant crypto-assets” in addition to a watch valued at $800,000.

Spagni now faces a listening to on Aug. 5 to find out whether or not he’s held pending trial. If convicted in South Africa, Spagni may withstand 20 years in jail.

Spagni has been concerned within the cryptocurrency market since a minimum of 2011 and is energetic on Twitter beneath the deal with @FluffyPony. He has not tweeted for the reason that arrest on July 20, 2021. In December 2019, he stepped down as lead maintainer of Monero. 

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