- The case against Riccardo ‘Fluffypony’ Spagni is “fatally flawed” according to his lawyer
- Brian Klein argued that insufficient evidence had been presented in relation to the case
- Spagni is accused of stealing $100,000 from Cape Cookies between 2009-2011
The fraud case against former Monero lead Riccardo Spagni is “fatally flawed” according to the lawyer hired to fight his extradition to South Africa. Brian Klein, who has previously represented Erik Voorhees and Charlie Shrem, made the claim as he filed a motion to allow Spagni to be released from custody on bail pending his extradition hearing. Spagni was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this week on behalf of the South African government in relation to $100,000 alleged fraud against a former employer, Cape Cookies, but Klein claims there is a lack of evidence in the case that has been rumbling on for a decade.
Spagni Represents “Danger to the Community”
Spagni was arrested by U.S. authorities while traveling on a private jet from New York to Los Cabos, Mexico which stopped at a Nashville airport to refuel. Cape Cookies accuse him of stealing approximately $100,000 through false invoicing between 2009 and 2011, with the case still unresolved 10 years after it was first filed.
Spagni was due to appear in court in South Africa in April to face the charges but failed to do so, prompting South African officials to seek his arrest. Documentation filed by U.S. authorities claims that Spagni is a flight risk, with some $800,000 in cryptocurrency at his disposal, and presents a “danger to the community”, leading to them asking the court to deny bail while he awaits his extradition hearing.
Klein Argues “Insufficient Evidence”
In his bail application, Klein claimed that the U.S. government has “misstated both the facts and the applicable law in this matter” and says there is a lack of evidence in the case against Spagni. He also says that the claim by South African authorities that crime is punishable with 20 years in prison is excessive in the least, and that legal guidelines suggest a 60 month term would be more likely were he to be found guilty.
No date has yet been set for Spagni’s extradition hearing.