Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright in 2016 said that he is the creator of bitcoin and claim himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto the mysterious inventor behind the world’s largest cryptocurrency. But now is accused of swindling more than $5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency and other assets from the estate of a computer-security expert.
Craig allegedly schemed to use phony contracts and signatures to lay claim to bitcoins mined by colleague Dave Kleiman, another cryptocurrency adherent, who died in 2013, according to a lawsuit filed by Kleiman’s brother.
The lawsuit was filed by his brother Ira on behalf of Kleiman’s estate as Kleiman was left wheelchair-bound after a motorcycle accident. He died in April 2013 after suffering from an MRSA infection.
Lawsuit alleges that Wright plotted to swindle IT security expert Dave Kleiman out of hundreds of thousands of bitcoins and intellectual property rights to a number of blockchain technologies
“Craig forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him,’’ lawyers for Kleiman’s family said in the complaint. “Craig backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.’’
Dave “mentioned that you had 1 million Bitcoins in the trust and since you said he has 300,000 as his part,’’ the computer expert’s brother wrote. “I was figuring the other 700,000 is yours,” he added in the email. “Is that correct?”
According to the lawsuit both controlled as many as 1.1 million Bitcoins at the time of Kleiman’s death. They were held trusts set up in Singapore, the Seychelles Islands, and the U.K., the suit says.
The pair founded a Florida-based firm called W&K Info Defense Research LLC in 2011, which was engaged in bitcoin mining and software development and research. Kleiman owned between 50 and 100 percent of W&K, as mentioned in the suit.
It alleges that Wright fraudulently created at least three contracts and used a computer-generated signature to lay claim to bitcoins mined by Kleiman.
The case is being represented by Velvel Freedman and Kyle Roche of the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.
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