Former Monero maintainer Riccardo ‘Fluffypony’ Spagni to surrender for South Africa extradition

Court filings hint at authorities allowing Spagni to be in the United States for the Independence Day holiday weekend before being taken to South Africa early on Tuesday.

Riccardo Spagni, the former maintainer of the privacy coin Monero also known as Fluffypony, faces extradition to South Africa months after his arrest by U.S. authorities.

In a Thursday court filing for the Middle District of Tennessee, Magistrate Judge Alistair Newbern ordered Spagni to surrender to U.S. Marshals on July 5 for extradition to South Africa. He will reportedly face 378 charges related to allegations of fraud and forgery between 2009 and 2011 at a company called Cape Cookies.

U.S. authorities arrested Spagni in Nashville in July 2021 at the request of the South African government, holding him in custody until September. The court filings hint at allowing Spagni to be in the United States for the Independence Day holiday weekend before being taken to Africa early on Tuesday. None of the charges in South Africa are related to Spagni’s time working on Monero (XMR), for which he was the lead maintainer until December 2019.

Related: Privacy coins are surging — Will regulatory pressure stall their stellar run?

Spagni, who posts on Twitter under the handle Fluffypony, has been involved in the crypto space since 2011. Since his arrest in the United States, he tweeted regarding his desire to return to South Africa to “address this matter” related to the fraud charges:

I am very pleased that the U.S. court has released me. 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.

— fluffy/pony (@fluffypony) September 21, 2021

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets, the price of XMR has fallen roughly 8% in the last 24 hours, reaching $110 at the time of publication. As with many cryptocurrencies in the current bear market, the price of the privacy coin has fallen significantly in the last 30 days — roughly 46% from more than $206 on May 31. 

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