Monero developer arrested in US for fraud on the behest of South African authorities

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Former Monero upkeep supervisor Riccardo Spagni, aka Fluffypony, has been arrested in the US and is now awaiting extradition to South Africa the place he will probably be tried for fraud. Spagni described the case as “an outdated case, which I’ve been repeatedly attempting to resolve since 2011”.

Fluffypony arrested, awaiting extradition to South Africa

The american authorities deposit an extradition invoice of legislation and a request for detention pending extradition proceedings for Riccardo Paolo Spagni with a Tennessee district court docket on July 21.

Spagni, often known as Fluffypony, was beforehand a chief upkeep officer at Monero. The court docket doc states that “Spagni would have important cryptocurrency property that might permit him to flee.”

The USA “perform its standard tasks and act on the request of the South African authorities”, the file specifies, including that the South African authorities requests her “provisional arrest with a view to her extradition to be tried for fraud”. On July 20, the district court docket issued an arrest warrant towards Spagni for the offense dedicated in South Africa.

In keeping with the court docket doc, whereas employed by Cape Cookies CC from October 1, 2009 to June 8, 2011, as an IT supervisor, “Spagni knowingly used false info to manufacture” invoices allegedly from a provider known as Ensync and three different non-existent firms.

He “inflated the costs of products and / or providers” on each bill and changed the provider’s banking info together with his personal. The court docket doc particulars:

Counting on Spagni’s false statements, Cape Cookies paid every bill by the use of an digital switch of funds to financial institution accounts managed by Spagni.

The proof signifies that he “acquired South African rand 1,453,561.47, or roughly $ 99,185, on account of his efforts to defraud Cape Cookies,” the file notes.

Spagni was indicted by the Regional Courtroom in Western Cape, Cape City, with fraud and different expenses, however he pleaded not responsible.

Nonetheless, Spagni didn’t seem in court docket for his trial. Whereas attempting to find him, the South African authorities found that he had fled the nation. Cape City District Courtroom in South Africa issued an arrest warrant for him on April 19, 2021.

Spagni launched a press release on Monday:

Sadly, as a result of a misunderstanding about setting listening to dates in an outdated case, which I’ve been repeatedly attempting to resolve since 2011, I used to be convicted of contempt of court docket and awaiting extradition.

His lawyer at Duncan Okes Inc. additionally issued a declaration regarding the case: “In our opinion, and opposite to accepted observe and process and given the circumstances, the issuance of the arrest warrant was irregular and unjustified. ”

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