1.1 Million Bitcoin Lawsuit Alleging Craig Wright Is Satoshi Continues

January 2, 2019 / by Zachary Mashiach

A 1.1 million Bitcoin lawsuit against Craig Wright in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida continues, with the latest ruling handed down on Dec. 27.

The plaintiff is the Estate of Dave Kleiman, and it alleges Kleiman and Wright mined 1.1 million Bitcoins together during the early days of Bitcoin, and when Kleiman died, Wright laundered the money into his own accounts and did not give anything to Kleiman’s heirs. The lawsuit further alleges that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, which has been on and off a heated debate in the crypto space.

In the latest order, the court dismisses two counts against Wright, while Wright must respond to the other seven counts by Jan. 10. Count three, which was dismissed, is an allegation that Wright misappropriated trade secrets belonging to Kleiman related to smart contracts and blockchain technology. Count four says the theft of trade secrets violates the federal defense of trade secrets act, and this count was also dismissed.

Estate Of Dave Kleiman Asks For $11.4 billion Judgement

The remaining counts which have not been dismissed are far more serious. Count one demands $11.427 billion or the return of the Bitcoins and forked assets, like Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, etc.

Count two alleges that the theft of the Bitcoins is unjust enrichment. Count five alleges that Wright breached his fiduciary duty to Kleiman. Count six alleges that Wright did not pay for Kleiman’s share of their joint company. Count seven alleges that Wright committed fraud while taking Kleiman’s assets and intellectual property, including the forging of contracts and signatures. Count eight alleges that Wright committed fraud against Dave Kleiman’s children and tried to use them to cover up the fraud. Count nine asks for a permanent injunction against Wright to return all stolen Bitcoin and intellectual property.

A jury trial is scheduled for June 10 in which these standing allegations and claims will be decided. Wright tried to have the case dismissed with a motion in April 2018, offering reasons why the court does not have jurisdiction to rule on this case. However, the judge has decided in the most recent order that it does have jurisdiction, and the case will proceed.

Evidence In The Case Alleges Craig Wright Is Satoshi

The most intriguing part of this case is the evidence presented that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto in the defendant’s amended complaint. Apparently, Wright and Kleiman met in 2003 and communicated about various technological topics for years after that. In 2008, they co-authored a paper on the mechanics of overwriting hard drive data.

In March 2008, Wright emailed Kleiman and said “I need your help editing a paper I am going to release later this year. I have been working on a new form of electronic money. Bit cash, Bitcoin … [y]ou are always there for me Dave. I want you to be part of it all.”

In late 2008, Wright sent another email to Kleiman, saying “I need your help. You edited my paper, and now I need to have you aid me build this idea.” On Jan. 12, 2009, only nine days after Bitcoin launched on Jan. 3, Wright and Kleiman sent each other Bitcoin transactions, making them some of the earliest Bitcoin users.

The lawsuit alleges that Kleiman and Wright mined 1.1 million Bitcoins together, and these are all identifiable and stored in Wright’s wallets. Wright indicated that he has this tremendous amount of Bitcoins during a speech in which he said he had more money than the country Rwanda, where he was speaking.

In May 2016, Wright claimed to be Satoshi in a series of blog posts. The best evidence that Wright is Satoshi was a blog post from early Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen. In the post, Andresen claims that Wright signed a message with cryptographic keys that only Satoshi could possess. Ultimately Wright never released these sign messages to the public, leaving the claim in doubt, and Wright is now commonly referred to as faketoshi.

As this case enters the trial period, it will certainly shed light on the true nature of Craig Wright’s early involvement in Bitcoin, and whether he really is Satoshi Nakamoto.