Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Creator Craig Wright Accused of Committing Perjury
Dr. Craig S. Wright is best-known as the Australian businessman who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2016. This past week, Wright was hit with a lawsuit in a Florida courtroom for allegedly committing perjury.
Wright apparently told another court that he co-owned a Florida-based bitcoin company called W&K, but now denies it.
The complaint was submitted late Monday as part of the ongoing Kleiman v. Wright case, underway in a West Palm Beach, Florida federal court.
I’d like your reaction to the new amended complaint in Kleiman v. Wright, in which you're accused of perjury.https://t.co/GnmBytBySn
Your Australian affidavit shows that W&K was a 50-50 split.https://t.co/CjczlcQZ3U
— Cyrus Farivar (@cfarivar) May 15, 2018
That ongoing case, in case you’re out of the loop, is between Wright and his deceased business partner, Dave Kleiman. Kleiman was a Florida-based businessman who allegedly founded a bitcoin business with Wright in 2011.
Both Kleiman and Wright indisputably played a significant role in the early days of bitcoin. It’s unclear if Wright or Kleiman is Satoshi Nakamoto – or if both or neither of them are. However, Kleiman’s estate claims that Wright owes at least 300,000 bitcoin (approximately $3 billion) to the estate of his deceased business partner.
During the early days of the bitcoin network, Wright and Kleiman were able to mine enormous amounts of bitcoin. It’s unclear how many bitcoins the pair mined. However, the number could be as high as 1 million bitcoins – similar to Satoshi Nakamoto’s purported stash. That’s why Kleiman’s estate is seeking 300,000 bitcoin in damages.
This Case Could Reveal the True Identity of Satoshi Nakamoto
The case has made headlines across the cryptocurrency industry because it could reveal the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. The latest lawsuit mentions that it’s “unclear” whether Kleiman or Wright “invented bitcoin” – or if both men did it.
This latest bombshell involves a supposed lack of connection between Wright and a Florida-based bitcoin company. Wright apparently co-founded and co-owned the company with Dave Kleiman.
However, the latest filing in the case claims that Wright has committed a “fraud on this court” by claiming he had no connection to this Florida company.
The problem is related to the fact that Wright mentioned the exact opposite in a courtroom in Australia a few years ago. In that courtroom, Wright allegedly mentioned that he co-founded W&K with Kleiman. Now, he’s denying any involvement with the company in a Florida courtroom.
Saying something in one courtroom and another thing in a different courtroom could be considered perjury.
Wright and Kleiman’s company, W&K, was allegedly founded in 2011. Wright and Kleiman supposedly founded the company in a 50/50 partnership. The company’s full name is W&K Defense Research, LLC.
Where things get complicated is that Kleiman died suddenly in April 2013, telling nobody about his involvement in bitcoin. His heirs had no idea that he had amassed a potential fortune in bitcoin. Then, six months later, Wright sued W&K in an Australian court in an attempt to reclaim the money and intellectual property that Wright believed was owed to him.
This is when Kleiman’s family started to become actively involved. As reported by Ars Technica, Wright reached out to Dave’s brother, Ira Kleiman, in February 2014, just days after contacting Dave’s elderly father. At this point, Wright told Ira of the bitcoin partnership formed between he and Dave.
Wright then claimed, however, that Kleiman signed his rights away “in exchange for non-controlling shares of a non-operational Australian company worth ‘millions’.” Wright allegedly offered to sell those shares and give the profits to Ira. However, that company would later go bankrupt, making the shares worthless.
In April 2018, Ira Kleiman reinstated W&K as a Florida-based corporation. Wright submitted a formal court declaration accompanying his motion to dismiss the case. This is when Wright denied he had any involvement with W&K whatsoever.
Affidavit from Australia Reveals Craig Previously Claimed to Have Co-Founded W&K
Soon after Ira Kleiman reinstated W&K as a Florida-based corporation, an Australian affidavit from the 2013 Australian lawsuit of Wright v. W&K Info Defense Research, LLC was made public. In this affidavit, Wright specifically says that he co-owned the company, 50/50, with Dave Kleiman:
“The shareholding of W&K Info Defense was:
1. Craig S. Wright 50.0%
2. David A. Kleiman 50.0%”
The latest lawsuit in the Florida court references this affidavit, saying:
“Craig then doubled down on this ownership structure affirming further that “W&K Info Defense LLC was an incorporated partnership. All shares are held jointly.” (Id.). He then affirmed that he called a “shareholders meeting” on August 16, 2013 at which only he and Jamie Wilson were present. (Id.). Craig affirmed he was the sole vote that nominated Jamie Wilson to act as a director “for purposes of consenting to orders and the company to be wound down.” (Id. at 5).27 165.”
The lawsuit goes on to accuse Wright of perjury:
“Craig’s boldfaced misrepresentations and perjury before this Court constitute a continuation of his grand fraud to unlawfully take Plaintiffs’ assets. Said differently, Craig’s latest fraud on this Florida Court is simply one more action he’s taken in Florida to defraud Dave’s estate and W&K.”
Wright, meanwhile, is not responding to comments on Twitter, nor has he publicly addressed the latest lawsuit.
Stay tuned for more information about this ongoing case between the two potential bitcoin creators. This case could ultimately reveal the real identity of bitcoin’s mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. At the very least, we should learn whether Satoshi is Craig Wright, Dave Kleiman, both of them, or neither of them.