Monero’s Ex Developer Was Arrested In the USA
On July 20, Riccardo Spagni, a former developer of the Monero cryptocurrency (XMR), was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee, at the request of the South African government.
The arrest took place at the Nashville airport. According to the flight plan, the private jet, which was carrying Spagni, had to fly to Los Cabos, Mexico, but first, it stopped in Nashville for scheduled refuelling. At the moment, Spagni is in the custody of the US Attorney General.
The arrest was carried out at the request of the South African government, demanding the extradition of Spagni on charges of fraud. The charges relate to his previous job as IT manager at Cape Cookies between 2009 and 2011.
“As a Cape Cookies employee, Spagni intercepted invoices from Ensync for IT goods and services it supplied to Cape Cookies. Spagni deliberately fabricated similar invoices, purportedly from Ensync, using data from that company, including VAT number and bank account information. Then Spagni inflated prices for goods and/or services,” according to the documents.
The South African government claims that the accounts do not indicate Ensync’s real bank account, but rather a bank account opened and fully controlled by Spagni.
The US prosecutors are demanding that Spagni be denied bail applications pending extradition due to the high risk of the programmer escaping.
The investigation suspects that the accused has a significant amount of cryptocurrency assets. In addition, just his watch alone is worth $800,000.
On August 5, a hearing in the Spagni case will take place, at which a decision will be made on the extension or termination of the period of detention.
In South Africa, the former Monero developer faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years if found guilty.