Former Monero (XMR) lead released from US custody

September 22, 2021

Riccardo Spagni, also known as FluffyPony in the crypto world, has stated that United States officials have finally released him. After spending a month in custody, Spagni is reportedly working with his legal team to return back to South Africa to address the allegations that have been laid against him.

In a tweet, Spagni said that he hoping to “return to South Africa” in order to get the matter behind him:

Over the past ten years, Spagni has been working in the cryptocurrency space. He was deeply involved in the maintenance of Monero (XMR) until the end of 2019 and is well known in the industry as one of the early adopters in the market and as a massive advocate for privacy.

The United States authorities arrested Monero’s former lead maintainer on charges tied to claims of fraudulent activity in South Africa between 2009 and 2011. Before Spagni worked in cryptocurrency and worked on Monero’s project, he was involved in a company called Cape Cookies. According to allegations, Spagni’s involvement in the company was linked to false information to create invoices that inflated prices for certain goods and services.  If the allegations are found to be true, Spagni could be facing up to 20 years in prison on charges of fraud.

Spagni has been quiet on social media over the past two months, with the exception of one retweet from one of his wife’s tweets – a statement shortly after he was arrested in the United States. His latest update marks the first public post since July.