Craig Wright, who once claimed to be the founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, has been sued for stealing $ 5 billion in bitcoins from a former business partner.
Filed in the Florida District Court earlier this month, the lawsuit alleges that Wright participated in a joint bitcoin mining venture with Dave Kleiman, now assassinated IT consultant, who ultimately ran between 550,000 and 1,100,000 bitcoins. According to the plaintiffs, Wright falsified and delayed a series of documents after Kleiman's death in order to make it appear that the co-founder had withdrawn his actions.
The estate of Kleiman, represented by his brother Ira, seeks the return of those bitcoin, which would now be worth more than $ 10 billion. According to the lawsuit, the uncertain status of those bitcoin was related to Wright's well-publicized tax issues, which caused his house to be raided by Australian police.
The lawsuit presents a series of proofs of ownership of the company by Kleiman, including corporate documents that include him as the registered agent. In another email exchange cited in the lawsuit, Wright seems to admit that he has 300,000 bitcoins in Kleiman's name.
"[Dave] mentioned that he had 1 million Bitcoins in the trust and, as he said, he has 300,000 as part of it, he was imagining that the other 700,000 are yours," Ira Kleiman wrote shortly after his brother's death in 2013. " Is that correct? "
"Around that," Wright replied. "Less what was needed for the use of the company." Copies of the email are included as an exhibit in the case.
Wright rose to prominence for the first time in December 2015, after several publications were contacted with evidence that the Australian businessman was actually the mythical founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright eventually offered a demonstration to prove his identity as Nakamoto through a cryptographic signature, but the signature was flawed and ultimately unconvincing. Wright later announced his intention to withdraw from public life.
It should be noted that the complaint makes no claim about the role of Wright or Kleiman in the creation of Bitcoin or any connection with the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. "It's not clear if Craig, Dave and / or both created Bitcoin," the complaint says. "For reasons that are still not entirely clear, they chose to keep their participation in Bitcoin hidden from most of their relatives and friends, but it is undeniable that Craig and Dave were involved in Bitcoin since its inception and that both accumulated a large amount of money. bitcoins from 2009 to 2013. "
The court issued a subpoena for Craig Wright on February 15, and since then there has been no progress on the record. It is not clear if Wright plans to appear in court.