Riccardo Spagni, a prominent South African crypto developer, was arrested in the United States and is awaiting a hearing on his extradition to South Africa to be tried on charges of fraud.
Spagni has been the lead developer of the Monero cryptocurrency for five years. He retired in December 2019. The charge is not related to Spagni's activities as a crypto developer.
According to court documents, he is accused of fraud in the position of manager of the South African company Cape Cookies, in the amount of R1,453,561.47.
Spagni worked at Cape Cookies from October 1, 2009 to June 8, 2011 and allegedly forged accounts between IT service provider Ensync and Cape Cookies, substituting his company details in the documents.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and then fled South Africa.
Law enforcement arrested Spagni the same day he tried to fly from New York to Los Cabos to Mexico on a private jet via Nashville.
The hearing in the case of Spagni's extradition is scheduled for September 17, 2021, and the video hearing on his arrest is scheduled for August 5.
If Spagni is convicted in South Africa, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
His wife Saskia Spagni issued the following statement on his behalf:
Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding regardingtiming the trial in an old case that I have been trying to resolve since 2011, I have been convicted of contempt of court and am currently awaiting extradition. I hope to resolve this misunderstanding soon. In the meantime, my business will continue under the guidance of my partners.
1/2 Thank you everyone for your kind messages and in this matter.
A message from @fluffypony: Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding with regards to the setting of court dates in an old matter, which I have continuously been trying to resolve since 2011,
- Saskia Spagni (@Spatzipantz) August 2, 2021
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