Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Australian man Craig Wright wins US court battle for bitcoin fortune worth billions

  • The Kleiman v. Wright case has come to a close with the jury siding with defendant Craig Wright on all but one count.
  • The jury ruled that David Kleiman’s relationship to Craig Wright did not constitute a business partnership, meaning the Kleiman estate was not entitled to a share of the Satoshi Nakamoto fortune, which Wright claims to have control over as the self-purported creator of Bitcoin.
  • The jury ruled against Wright on the conversion count, awarding $100 million to Kleiman and Wright’s shared business, W&K Info Defense Research

  • Wright will not have to pay up the billions that the Kleiman estate hoped, but he was hit with a $100 million judgment against him for the unauthorized use of funds from Kleiman and Wright's shared venture, W&K Info Defense Research LLC.

Australian man Craig Wright wins US court battle for bitcoin fortune worth billions

Florida jury finds Wright, who claims to have invented the cryptocurrency, did not owe half of 1.1m bitcoins worth $50bn to another family

Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist who claims to be the inventor of bitcoin, has prevailed in a civil trial against the family of a deceased business partner that claimed it was owed half of a cryptocurrency fortune worth tens of billions of dollars.

A Florida jury on Monday found that Wright did not owe half of 1.1m bitcoins to the family of David Kleiman. The jury did award US$100m in intellectual property rights to a joint venture between the two men, a fraction of what Kleiman’s lawyers were asking for at trial.

“This was a tremendous victory for our side,” said Andres Rivero of Rivero Mestre LLP, the lead lawyer representing Wright.

David Kleiman died in April 2013 at the age of 46. Led by his brother Ira Kleiman, his family has claimed David Kleiman and Wright were close friends and co-created bitcoin through a partnership.

At the centre of the trial were 1.1m bitcoins, worth approximately $50bn based on Monday’s prices. These were among the first bitcoins to be created through mining and could only be owned by a person or entity involved with the digital currency from its beginning such as bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Craig Wright 'incredibly relieved' after jury orders him to pay $100 million in billion-dollar bitcoin lawsuit


ATO officers leaving Wright’s home in Sydney. Photo: John McDuling / Twitter

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