The creator of the main anonymous digital currency Monero, Riccardo Spagni, was detained on the orders of the South African authorities, accusing the businessman of fraudulent activities. XMR is reportedly not included in the charges against Spagni.
It turned out that the arrest warrant for Spagni was issued more than a week ago on July 20 at the request of the South African authorities, after which he was detained in the United States in Nashville, Tennessee. According to court records, at the time of his arrest, Spagni was on a private jet flying to Los Cabos, Mexico. The stop in Nashville was forced due to refueling.
The charges stemmed from Spagni's fraudulent activities in South Africa between 2009 and 2011. Spagni was then an IT manager for Cape Cookies. He intercepted invoices from Cape Cookies partners, Ensync, and then created fake invoices on their behalf. The purpose of the machinations on the part of Spagni was banal inflation of the cost of goods and services, including VAT, supplied by Ensync, and indicated the account under his control as bank details.
Acting US Attorney Mary Jane Stewart expressed concern that the defendant might try to flee the country by asking the court in advance to refuse any requests from the businessman to be released on bail.
The main reason for concern was the fact that now South Africa seriously intends to extradite Spagni. Therefore, before the decision on extradition, the representatives of the court do not want the creator of Monero to be able to evade justice. In addition, he currently has more than 800,000 in cryptocurrency equivalent. According to Stewart, this only exacerbates the likelihood of escape.
The hearing in the Spagni case will take place on August 5. Within the framework of it, the further fate of the ex-head of Monero will be determined, and until then he will remain in custody. If the businessman's guilt is confirmed, he faces not only extradition but also up to 20 years in a South African prison.
Silence has fallen since the arrest of Spagni on Twitter, where he goes by the nickname @FluffyPony. Although the entrepreneur himself has been actively involved in the development of the crypto industry since 2011. In 2019 he left the post of the head of Monero.