Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Inventor Craig Wright Faces $658,000 in Court Fees
- Craig Wright allegedly took over access to Dave Kleiman’s trust, where he held his Bitcoin.
- The next hearing regarding the Kleiman estate will be in December.
Craig Wright has continually stated that he is the true creator of Bitcoin, even as plenty of evidence has stacked against his claims. However, it looks like he’s getting just what he asked for in a recent court case. He’s been publicly involved in a case initiated by the estate of his deceased partner, Dave Kleiman, which has accused Wright of stealing $10 billion in Bitcoin. Now, according to reports, the estate is pushing for Wright to pay $658,000 to cover their court fees.
Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart recently issued a sanction against Wright, which was due to his lack of compliance with the court order that forced him to give up half of the Bitcoin he still has to Ira Kleiman. Ira is the brother of Dave Kleiman. The order also stated that Wright is responsible for covering the legal costs that Ira took on, though the estate got an extension after a settlement was agreed on.
Despite agreeing on the decision to reach a settlement, there’s been no negotiations outside of court to mature into something real. Instead, the estate has ordered that Wright cover the $592,558 that they’ve had to take on and $66,023 in expenses, which was a motion that was filed on Wednesday.
US District Judge Beth Bloom reviewed the motion yesterday, passing it along for a final recommendation to Judge Reinhart. In the motion, Ira Kleiman stated, “This amount is based on reasonable hourly rates – commensurate with those actually charged by these and comparable firms in matters in this district – and an appropriate number of hours worked in light of the scope and extent of Craig [Wright]’s deception and the amount at stake in this litigation.”
Judge Reinhart has ruled that Wright is guilty of producing tampered trust documents, making false declarations, and lying while under oath. Wright has claimed for quite a while that he is the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, and he joined up with Dave Kleiman to mining the first batch of cryptocurrency. Through the work in the case, the court ultimately determined that Dave’s share of Bitcoin was illegally accessed by Wright, following his death in 2013. Now, Wright is being ordered to hand over that Bitcoin.
Still, the response from Wright has been riddled with excuses, stating that he’s not been able to access the Bitcoin that belongs to Dave, as it is presently held within a blind trust. However, Wright was accused of lying about this trust by an expert in digital forensics and owning this Bitcoin could be the proof that Wright needs to validate claims that he’s the Bitcoin creator.
Wright pushed for a 30-day extension as the court sanctions arose, agreeing that he would settle a deal with Dave Kleiman’s estate, but Ira Kleiman said that Wright pulled out of the deal, as he couldn’t finance it. The plaintiff’s side chose to file a new motion that would require Wright to pay up, starting with the costs that they have taken on through this entire legal process.
The next hearing in this ongoing issue will bring the Kleiman estate and Wright to court on December 4th.