• The former Monero maintainer has been released from US custody

  • Riccardo Spagni said, “I am actively working with my attorneys on a way to return to South Africa as soon as possible so that I can address this matter and put it behind me for good.”

    After more than a month in custody, Riccardo Spagni, the former lead maintainer of the privacy coin Monero, has reported that US officials have released him.

    Spagni said he was working with his legal team to return to South Africa to address the allegations against him in a tweet on Tuesday. Spagni was arrested in August in the United States on fraud charges related to alleged crimes committed in South Africa between 2009 and 2011 at a company called Cape Cookies.

    “I am actively working with my attorneys on a way to return to South Africa as soon as possible so that I can deal with this matter and put it behind me,” Spagni said. “I’ve always wanted to do something like that.”

    The South African government had sought Spagni’s extradition on the charges, alleging that he “used false information” to create invoices that inflated prices for certain goods and services and had funds transferred to a bank account he controlled. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

    Although someone — presumably his lawyers — did retweet a statement posted to his wife’s Twitter account shortly after his arrest, Spagni hasn’t tweeted since July. The arrest, according to the legal team, was for “his alleged failure to appear in court, and nothing more.”

    Spagni has been involved in the crypto space for more than a decade and was the lead maintainer of the privacy coin Monero (XMR) until December 2019. Many people are familiar with him because of his witty social media posts about cryptocurrency projects and industry figures.

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