“I am very glad that the US court released me. I am actively working with my lawyers to return to South Africa as soon as possible so that I can resolve this issue and end it once and for all,” Spagni wrote.
On July 21, law enforcement agencies detained Spagni at the Nashville airport at the request of the South African authorities, who accused him of fraud for $100,000. The case is not related to Monero, but to his work in the South African company Cape Cookies in 2009-2011.
Monero (XMR) is an open-source cryptocurrency, the protocol of which implements a number of transaction anonymization techniques: stealth addresses, ring confidential transactions.
In the Monero network, only the participants of transactions and those who will be given a special access key know the amount, the addresses of the sender and the recipient.
Spagni retired from active participation in the development of Monero in 2019, but is still considered its unofficial face. The developer was at the very origins of the project, although he was not its direct creator.
According to the charges, Spagni faces up to 20 years in prison
According to the charges, Spagni faces up to 20 years in prison. The South African authorities had to submit documents to the United States to consider extradition before September 19, 2021.
Lawyer Duncan Oakes called Spagni’s detention unjustified. According to him, the developer mistakenly believed that the presence of his representative was sufficient in the Cape Cookies case. Spagni was working in the United States at that time. Oakes stressed that in accordance with the practice, lawyers in such cases replace the defendants.
Recall that at the end of August, the court refused to release Spagni on bail because of the risk of his flight. Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart asked the court to reject Spagni’s request for bail until a decision on extradition is made. She fears that the accused may escape.