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

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Riccardo Spagni, the previous maintainer of the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency, was arrested final month in Nashville, Tennessee on fraud prices 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, according to court docket paperwork. His journey initially started simply exterior of New York Metropolis. He’s presently within the custody of the U.S. Lawyer Basic, in accordance with court docket paperwork.

The arrest was made on the request of the South African authorities, which is in search of Spagni’s extradition on fraud prices. The fees, that are unrelated to Spagni’s position at Monero, are tied to his earlier employment as an data expertise supervisor at an organization referred to as Cape Cookies. Relating to Spagni’s alleged misdeeds, the court docket paperwork learn:

“As an worker of Cape Cookies, SPAGNI intercepted invoices from one other firm, Ensync, referring to data expertise items and providers it had provided Cape Cookies. SPAGNI knowingly used false data to manufacture comparable invoices purporting to be from Ensync, counting on particulars together with this firm’s Worth Added Tax (VAT) quantity and financial institution account data. SPAGNI then inflated the costs for the products and/or providers.”

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

Within the court docket submitting, Appearing United States Lawyer Mary Jane Stewart requested that the court docket deny any bail requests by Spagni “pending decision of this extradition continuing.” The doc describes Spagni as a flight danger with a powerful motivation to flee to keep away from dealing with prices. He’s believed to have “vital crypto-assets” in addition to a watch valued at $800,000.

Spagni now faces a listening to on August 5 to find out whether or not he’s held pending trial. If convicted in South Africa, Spagni may resist 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 because the arrest on July 20, 2021. In December 2019, he stepped down as lead maintainer of Monero.