Monero’s former maintainer Riccardo Spagni arrested

Former Monero (XMR) maintainer Riccardo Spagni has been apprehended at the request of the South African government in Nashville, Tennessee.

Spagni was arrested last month when authorities seized him on a private jet that was scheduled to fly to Los Carlos, Mexico. Spagni was arrested during the plane’s routine refueling stop in Nashville.

Based on the available information, Spagni is presently in the custody of the US Attorney General.

He has been tied to various offenses between 2009 and 2011 in South Africa, leading to the South African government looking for his extradition to address fraud charges.

However, those allegations have nothing to do with Monero, an anonymous cryptocurrency, that the US government has shown keen interest in because of its “intractability” and suspected use by criminals.

The document describing his alleged guilt said, “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.”

Basically, he is accused of using his own bank account in invoices issued under Ensync’s name. Acting US Attorney Mary Jane Stewart said that Spagni should be denied bail as he was a significant flight risk with total assets worth around $800,000. If Spagni is extradited and convicted in South Africa, he may face up to 20 years in prison.

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Updated: 08/03/2021 — 15:00