The self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright has been engaged in legal battles for years. One of the most prominent was the one carried out by Ira Kleiman, brother of Wright’s late partner David Kleiman, over the whereabouts of 1 million BTC mined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym behind BTC’s creation.
Stoll for a good part of 2020, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and due to Wright’s legal tricks, the trial began in 2021. The heirs of David Kleiman’s accused Wright of taking over the portion of the 1 million BTC that was allegedly due to the plaintiffs.
The civil action has finally concluded with the jury at Miami’s federal court deciding that Wright must pay $100 million in damages to Kleiman. According to the verdict, Wright “cheated” on his former partner over the intellectual allegedly attributed to Bitcoin’s creation.
Per a Bloomberg report, the jury took over a week to finally reveal their decision. Conversely, the people that comprised the legal entity determined that Wright is innocent in “most of the claims” made against his person.
Unlike in previous instances, Wright claimed that he won’t be appealing the decision and took the opportunity to reiterate his claim as the Bitcoin inventor. In a post-trial statement, he said that the verdict in fact proves that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. The report adds:
I feel remarkably happy and vindicated. I am not a fraud, and I never have been (…). The jury has obviously found that I am because there would have been no award otherwise. And I am.
Taking into consideration that the plaintiffs were asking for over $600 billion in punitive, Wright’s legal representation called the result “one of the most resounding victories ever in American litigation”. In that sense, Wright’s attorney believes they have “crushed” Kleiman and W&R Info Defense Research, the company co-founded by his late brother.
Where Are The 1 Million Bitcoin (BTC)?
The plaintiff’s legal representation also celebrated the outcome, in a statement published by CoinDesk, the lawyers said that the $100 million in damages reflect Wright’s wrongdoing. Furthermore, they believe the ruling will serve as compensation for Kleiman’s alleged participation in the creation of intellectual property attributed to Bitcoin. The statement reads the following:
Many years ago, Craig Wright told the Kleiman family that he and Dave Kleiman developed revolutionary Bitcoin based intellectual property. Despite those admissions, Wright refused to give the Kleimans their fair share of what Dave helped create and instead took those assets for himself. This verdict sets a historical precedent in the innovative and transformative industry of cryptocurrency and blockchain.
Despite the outcome, questions on the whereabouts of the 1 million BTC mined by Satoshi Nakamoto remained. During the trial, Wright used every resource at his disposal to keep this information secret, if he possesses it at all.
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As of press time, Bitcoin trades at $48,954 with sideways movement in the past day.