Self-Proclaimed Inventor of Bitcoin Alleged with Swindling $5 Billion Worth of Cryptocurrency

The self-proclaimed inventor of bitcoin, Craig Wright, is alleged of swindling over $5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency and some other assets from the estate of an expert in computer-security.

In 2016, Wright claimed that he designed the computer-based currency under the pseudonym of Satoshi ‎Nakamoto. The currency was allegedly schemed to make use of phony signatures and contracts to lay claim to bitcoins that were mined by Dave Kleiman, his colleague and another cryptocurrency adherent who died in 2013.

According to the February 14 filing in a federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, the family of Kleiman argues that they own the rights to over 1 million Bitcoins and blockchain technologies that Kleiman was able to mine and develop during his lifetime and that the value of the assets exceeds $5 billion.

In the complaint, the lawyers for the family of Kleiman stated: “Craig forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him.

“Craig backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.’’

Craig Wright is an Australian who is a resident of London. He could not immediately be reached for a comment regarding the suit, which also alleges the entrepreneur of infringing partnership duties to Kleiman and enriching himself at the expense of his colleague unjustly. There is currently no attorney that is listed for Wright on the docket.

According to the court filing, Kleiman and Wright formed W&K Info Defense Research LLC in 2011. The company is based in Florida and was built to focus on cybersecurity. According to the lawsuit of the family, the two also had worked together earlier on the development of Bitcoin and had widespread mining operations.

According to the suit, the pair controlled as much as 1.1 million Bitcoins at the time of the death of Kleiman. The suit says that they were held trusts that are set up in the Seychelles Islands, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

In a blog post and some interviews in 2016, Wright stated that he was the main participant in a team that developed the original software of Bitcoin under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. After some sceptics questioned the said claims, Wright disclosed that he decided not to present any additional evidence in order to prove that he is the creator of Bitcoin.

In the said filing, the brother of Kleiman includes what he states is email traffic between Wright and himself in which the entrepreneur indicates that he may have been holding 300,000 of the Bitcoins of Kleiman.

The brother of the computer expert wrote: Dave “mentioned that you had 1 million Bitcoins in the trust and since you said he has 300,000 as his part.’

He added in the email: “I was figuring the other 700,000 is yours. Is that correct?”

Wright wrote back: “Around that. Minus what was needed for the company’s use.”

The said case is Ira Kleiman v. Craig Wright, No. 18-cv-8017 that is filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.