Monero’s former maintainer arrested in U.S. for allegations unrelated to cryptocurrency

Riccardo Spagni, the previous maintainer of the Monero 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 personal jet scheduled to fly to Los Cabos, Mexico when he was apprehended in Nashville throughout a scheduled refueling cease, in line with courtroom paperwork. His journey initially started simply outdoors of New York Metropolis. He’s at the moment within the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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

“As an worker of Cape Cookies, SPAGNI intercepted invoices from one other firm, Ensync, referring to data know-how items and companies it had equipped Cape Cookies. SPAGNI knowingly used false data to manufacture related 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 companies.”

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

Within the courtroom submitting, Performing United States Lawyer Mary Jane Stewart requested that the courtroom 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 fifth 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 no less than 2011 and is lively on Twitter below 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.