Craig Wright, the self-confessed inventor of Bitcoin, is being accused of swindling his colleague, fellow cryptocurrency enthusiast and computer-security expert Dave Kleiman of more than $5 billion worth of cryptocurrency as well as other assets from Kleiman’s estate. The lawsuit was filed by Kleiman’s brother as Dave passed away in 2013. The lawsuit states that Wright plotted to use fake contracts and signatures in order to take over bitcoins mined by Dave Kleiman.
In 2016, Wright proclaimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto – the pseudonym used by an unknown person or group of people who created the bitcoin as well as its blockchain database. According to Kleiman’s family, it is they who have the rights to more than a million Bitcoins as well as blockchain technology mined and created by Kleiman. Lawyers for the family of Kleiman state in their lawsuit that “Craig forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him.’’ They added, “Craig backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.’’
The complaint was filed on February 14 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Part of it states, “Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant for the value of the wrongfully retained Bitcoin and IP, together with court costs, interest, and any other relief this Court deems just and proper.” An email exchange between Kleiman’s brother and Wright shows the latter admitting he may have 300,000 of Kleiman’s cryotocurrency. When asked about the lawsuit, Wright responded with a one-word post on Twitter: “Greed”.
Wright and Kleiman established W&K Info Defense Research LLC, a cyber security company based in Florida, back in 2011. Wright and Kleiman similarly developed Bitcoin and were involved in cryptocurrency mining operations. In 2013, both of them had control of more than a million Bitcoins and had set up trusts in Singapore, U.K. and the Seychelles Islands. Wright, who currently resides in London, is also being accused of unfairly making himself rich at Kleiman’s expense while also violating partnership duties.