A warrant for Spagni’s arrest was issued in South Africa on July 20, 2021, in response to a request by the country’s authorities. The same day he was arrested in the United States, reports CoinTelegraph.
South African fraud accusations linking Riccardo Spagni, the former keeper of the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency, to alleged crimes in that country from 2009 to 2011 have resulted in his arrest in Nashville, Tennessee.
Spagni’s Arrest Unrelated to Monero
Spagni was arrested while he was on his way to Los Cabos, Mexico aboard a private aircraft that was about to be refueled when he was apprehended in Nashville. At the beginning of his adventure, it started outside of New York City. According to court records, he is presently in the custody of the U.S. Attorney General.
South Africa requested the arrest because Spagni is wanted for fraud there. This pertains to Spagni personally but has nothing to do with Spagni’s work at Monero.
Spagni’s release awaiting extradition was sought in the court filing, and Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart asked that bail be denied pending the conclusion of the extradition case. The report claims that Spagni, who has a strong incentive to escape because of possible accusations, is a flight risk. Some have estimated that he is thought to have substantial crypto-assets as well as an $800,000 watch.
Spagni will be put on trial and may be detained in jail until the outcome of the hearing, which will take place on August 5. Spagni may face 20 years in jail if convicted in South Africa.
Spagni is active on Twitter under the name “FluffyPony” and has been engaged in the cryptocurrency industry since at least 2011. Since he was arrested on July 20, 2021, he has not tweeted. He resigned down as the project’s primary maintainer in December of 2019.
Who is Riccardo “FluffyPony” Spagni?
Riccardo Spagni was once Monero’s primary maintainer. In December 2019, he stepped down as the project maintainer.
In 2011, having already achieved success in importing and exporting, Spagni ventured into the world of cryptocurrencies. This allowed him to look into mining and subsequently, as a side project, develop and market GPU mining tools. It was via his involvement with the GPU mining community, which was mostly concerned with other cryptocurrencies, that he discovered Monero at its start.
Nicholas van Saberhagen developed the Monero white paper and then disappeared before helping to launch the project. Bitmonero, which was originally called “thankful for today,” was created by a person with the pseudonym “thankful for today.” Spagni and six other key devs split from Monero, a well-known privacy project today.
In 2018, Tari was started by co-founders Naveen Jain and Spagni. Tari is a merge-mined sidechain of Monero, and is focused on supporting non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital assets that represent unique things like tickets, loyalty points, and in-game goods.