Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of bitcoin has been ordered by a Florida court, to forfeit half of his mined crypto prior to 2014 to Ira Kleiman. The order was issued by Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart according to a document published online by the court.
Other than forfeiting half of his crypto assets Wright has also been asked by the court to pay the attorney and the case-related expenses to Ira Kleiman as well. The court document also says that Wright had argued in bad faith, he also submitted false evidence during court proceedings and committed perjury.
The Trial began in 2018 when the self-declared founder of bitcoin was sued by Ira Kleiman. Kleiman is the brother of Wright’s former partner Dave Kleiman who died in 2013. Wright has repeatedly called Dave Kleiman as the co-founder of bitcoin.
Ira, brother of Dave Kleiman sued Wright claiming that Wright had defrauded Dave’s family estate and claimed half of all the holdings of the Tulip Trust. If true, Wright could own more than one million bitcoins, half of which are according to court’s orders now Kleiman’s estate’s property. Bitcoin price at $10,000 would mean that half a million bitcoin will be worth at $5 billion, the amount of Wright has to part ways.
According to the document the magistrate gave the following argument for the verdict:
“Dr. Wright and David Kleiman entered into a 50/50 partnership to develop Bitcoin intellectual property and to mine bitcoin; any Bitcoin-related intellectual property developed by Dr. Wright prior to David Kleiman’s death was the property of the partnership, all bitcoin mined by Dr. Wright prior to David Kleiman’s death (“the partnership’s bitcoin”) was the property of the partnership when mined; Plaintiffs presently retain an ownership interest in the partnership’s bitcoin, and any assets traceable to them.”
Wright has pleaded to the court that after his partner’s demise, bitcoin mined are inaccessible due to complex encryption mechanism. Wright has been claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto for a while, he has said that he put the mined bitcoin into an encrypted file and into a blind trust.
He has said that many small keys were made of that encryption and Kleiman had distributed those keys throughout the bitcoin foundation. Wright has said time and time again that the key to the encryption would be accessible in January 2020, when he gets the key delivered from a bonded courier.
The judgment by Judge Bruce Reinhart said that Wright’s statement throughout the trial has been inconsistent. He was only revealing details that were beneficial for him. Many claims that were inconsistent and that made his claim very inconceivable. Judge also compared him to Dr. Frankenstein saying that Wright only had the revelation when his invention turned into evil and made the following remarks:
During his testimony, Dr. Wright’s demeanor did not impress me as someone who was telling the truth. When it was favorable to him, Dr. Wright appeared to have an excellent memory and a scrupulous attention to detail. Otherwise, Dr. Wright was belligerent and evasive.