Craig Wright Liable for $100 Million in Kleiman Case

Wright owes $100 million to W&K but has been cleared of other charges.

Shutterstock photo by Billion Photos

Key Takeaways

  • Kleiman v. Wright, one of the most significant ongoing trials related to cryptocurrency, concluded today.
  • A jury in Florida found Wright liable for $100 million, to be paid to W&K Information Defense Research.
  • Wright was cleared of all other charges.

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Craig Wright has been found liable for $100 million but cleared of other charges in a case concerning his former business partner.

$100 Million Lost Is a Win for Wright

The case concerned Dave Kleiman, Wright’s business partner who passed away in 2013. Wright allegedly took Bitcoin-related assets from W&K Information Defense Research LLC, the Florida-based company created by Wright and Kleiman a decade ago.

Wright faced roughly $189 billion in damages for counts ranging from fraud and theft to a breach of fiduciary duty. Jurors cleared Wright on all charges except conversion, for which he is liable for $100 million, to be paid to W&K Information Defense Research.

Both the plaintiff’s attorneys and the defendant appear satisfied or at least are seeing the trial’s outcome with an optimistic mindset.

Kleiman estate attorney Vel Freedman said his team was “thrilled” with the $100 million sum that will be paid to W&K.

Meanwhile, Wright said he was “incredibly relieved” despite the $100 million owed, adding that the outcome is “not bad at all.” This suggests he has no plans to appeal the verdict.

The trial was carried out as Ira Kleiman, et al., v. Craig Wright in the United States District Court Southern District of Florida.

Previous Motion of Judgement Failed

Last week before closing arguments, Wright’s attorneys filed a Motion for Judgement as a Matter of Law, which is an appeal to the judge that no sufficient evidence has been provided by the plaintiff.

Wright’s lawyers argued, among other things, that the selling of Wright’s cryptocurrency could harm the market price of Bitcoin, but the judge disagreed and denied the motion. 

The Kleiman case has little relation to Wright’s dubious claim that he is the true identity behind Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, which has been the focus of other past cases.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece held BTC and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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