Last year, CoinGeek reported that the former lead maintainer of Monero, Riccardo Spagni, had been arrested in the United States and stood accused of corporate fraud in his native South Africa.
Now, court filings show Spagni is due to surrender on July 5 for extradition. South African authorities will be on hand to effectuate his arrest.
What did Riccardo Spagni do? Why is he being extradited to South Africa?
Riccardo Spagni, the former lead of privacy coin Monero, to surrender to US Marshals at 9 am on July 5 and depart for South Africa the following day. Officials from SA heading to US to collect him. pic.twitter.com/myFf7JL3af
— Amy Castor (@ahcastor) June 30, 2022
In June 2021, Spagni was arrested by the U.S. authorities at the request of the South African government. He was charged with a massive 378 counts of fraud and forgery in his home country.
The charges relate to Spagni’s time working for a company called Cape Cookies between 2009 and 2011. While in his position, he allegedly committed invoice fraud worth $93,000.
According to official documents at the time of his arrest, “Spagni knowingly used false information to fabricate similar invoices purporting to be from Ensync, relying on details including this company’s Value Added Tax (VAT) number and bank account information. Spagni then inflated the prices for the goods and/or services.” He allegedly redirected the fraudulently obtained funds to a bank account he controlled.
More ‘crypto’ anarchists linked to crime—Quelle surprise
It’s important to remember that Spagni has not actually been convicted of any of these charges yet, but it’s highly unlikely that the South African government would go to all of this effort unless they had seen compelling evidence.
Spagni is yet another example of crypto-anarchists who show open contempt for the law, revealing their true colors as shady characters. These same people are quick to malign Bitcoin’s inventor, Dr. Craig Wright. Yet, as we repeatedly see, their accusations of fraud, deceit, and criminal behavior are mere projections of their own psyches.
As CoinGeek has repeatedly shown in our Crypto Crime Cartel series, the digital currency industry is infested with scammers, fraudsters, and white-collar criminals. These grifters are particularly attracted to so-called privacy coins like Monero (why could that be?) and express horror at the prospect of a well-regulated, legally compliant digital currency industry.
As Dr. Wright said in his book Satoshi’s Vision, all of his most vocal enemies seek to create a system outside of the law while he stands virtually alone in trying to make Bitcoin legally compliant. Yet, according to these same people, he is a criminal. It makes no logical sense.
Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see what fate awaits Riccardo Spagni in South Africa, but as regulators aim at various shady projects and tighten regulations, expect to see other high-profile names caught up in legal problems.
Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups from BitMEX to Binance, Bitcoin.com, Blockstream, ShapeShift, Coinbase, Ripple, Ethereum, FTX and Tether—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.
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