A federal jury found that Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator, didn’t have a business partnership with deceased Florida computer forensics expert Dave Kleiman, but he does owe $100 million in compensatory damages for conversion to a company Kleiman founded in Florida, W&K Info Defense Research.
Defense win on all claims except conversion. Jury awards $100 million to W&K Info Defense on that count. No punitive damages.— Carolina Bolado (@CarolinaBolado) December 6, 2021
In 2019, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto tried to prove to the court that Kleiman had no rights to the declared share in the company, and spoke about the alleged refusal of the latter from his share.
“I feel remarkably happy and vindicated,” Wright said in the courtroom hallway after the verdict was announced. “I am not a fraud, and I never have been.”
Earlier, WizSec experts said that the jury "just chooses between two wrong decisions":
Neither Wright nor Kleiman had anything to do with the creation of Bitcoin and didn't mine any bitcoins, so they're quarrelling over fictional assets that never existed in the first place (or are trying to lay claim to other people's bitcoins).— WizSec Bitcoin Research (@wizsecurity) November 30, 2021
WizSec stressed that Wright "made up a story" about how he created the first cryptocurrency. In turn, the plaintiffs "caught him at his word" and demanded to return "their half of the 'assets'".
If the jury ends up ordering Wright to pay some massive sum to Kleiman, the noteworthy thing to report isn't the amount but that it's money Wright *never had* and *never will have*.— WizSec Bitcoin Research (@wizsecurity) November 30, 2021
It's a mockery of justice either way, but a loss for Wright would at least be poetic justice.
"If the jury ultimately obliges Wright to pay Kleiman a large sum, it should not be reported about the amount, but that it is money that Wright" never had "and" never will, " the experts added.
In the opinion of WizSec, in any case, "this is a mockery of justice," but Wright's loss would be at least "poetic justice."
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In February 2018, Ira Kleiman, brother of deceased computer forensic scientist and mathematician Dave Kleiman, sued Craig Wright.
The plaintiff accused the latter of embezzling 1.1 million BTC, allegedly belonging to Kleiman, who is associated with the creation of the first cryptocurrency.
At the same time, WizSec experts found out that the bitcoin addresses mentioned in the lawsuit never belonged to either Kleiman or Wright.
In August 2019, the Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered to recover 500,000 BTC from Wright. Self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto withdrew from a settlement agreement. The proceedings were resumed.
In May 2020, 145 early Bitcoin addresses signed a message accusing Wright of fraud and perjury. He claimed that these addresses belonged to him.
In June of the same year, lawyers for Wright and Kleiman presented a list of 36 witnesses in the case. Among the experts, they included the early Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen and the preacher of crypto philosophy Andreas Antonopoulos. In his testimony, Andresen did not recognize Wright as the creator of digital gold and suggested that he could be misled.
In September 2020, the court rejected Wright's petition for summary judgment. Earlier, he said that the limitation period had expired, and the plaintiff could not prove an oral agreement.
In February 2021, Wright demanded that Bitcoin Core developers give him back access to two bitcoin wallets. One of the addresses is associated with the hacking of the Mt.Gox cryptocurrency exchange.
Recall that Wright's defense was based on two aspects: a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder and the absence of a written agreement with Kleiman. According to the defendant's lawyer, due to autism, her client and Kleiman understood the word “partner” differently.
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