Riccardo Spagni, who previously worked with the Monero privacy coin as the lead maintainer, has been released from US custody. According to Spagni, he had been under the custody of US officials for over a month.
In a tweet posted on Tuesday, Monero worker Spagni stated that he was in talks with his lawyers to go back to South Africa, where he would deal with the case lodged against him. Spagni was linked to fraudulent dealings allegedly linked to crimes in South Africa from 2009 and 2011. These crimes were associated with Cape Cookies, a company that Spagni was affiliated with.
Address Allegations of Fraud
In the tweet, Spagni stated that “I am actively working with my attorneys on a way to return to South Africa as soon as possible so I can address this matter and get it behind me once and for all. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Court documents related to the case for which Spagni is being charged shows that he was involved in fraud charges. According to case details, Spagni was involved in invoice payment fraud when he served as the IT manager for Cape Cookies in South Africa.
The case was being tried in South Africa, and the South African government had been looking for an extradition order for Spagni. Under the charges, Spagni will answer using falsified information to create invoices that had the wrong prices. The invoices depicted a higher price for specific goods and services.
The extra funds made by creating false invoices were transferred to a bank account that Spagni owned. If he is found guilty of these charges, he faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Active on Twitter
Spagni has been an active member of the crypto community on Twitter. However, before the recent tweet addressing his arrest, Spagni last tweeted in July, which is around the time when he was taken into US custody. However, through the Twitter account of his wife, his lawyers had stated that the arrest was because of failure to comply with court dates.
Spagni worked as the lead maintainer of the Monero privacy coin until December 2019. He had spent around ten years in the crypto and blockchain space. During his role in the sector, Spagni used to post humorous and insightful social media posts about blockchain projects and instrumental players in the sector.
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