Trial Back on After Craig Wright Breaks Bitcoin Settlement Agreement
Craig Wright broke a non-binding settlement agreement to forfeit half his claimed bitcoin holdings, according to a court filing.
Australian-born technologist Craig Wright has attested that he cannot finance his court settlement negotiated with the Kleiman estate.
According to a court document filed in the Southern District of Florida Oct. 30, Wright pulled out of the settlement agreement in which he would forfeit half his intellectual property and bitcoin mined prior to 2014. With the agreement broken, trial motions are now back on.
The document was filed by Kleiman's counsel to set a date to depose an out-of-state witness.
Ira Kleiman brought the charges against Wright in 2018 on behalf of his deceased brother's estate. Kleiman alleges Wright manipulated business documents, emails and other correspondence to defraud the estate.
Wright was sanctioned in late August, after being found in contempt of court by Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart for failing to disclose a complete list of his bitcoin addresses, reportedly amounting to 1.1 million bitcoin.
During the hearing, Wright claimed his bitcoin was inaccessible due to his former business partner David Kleiman's death as well as a complicated encryption scheme. The arguments were found to be inconsistent and in bad faith.
“These discussions began at Craig’s request and due to the fact that Craig represented he had the means to finance a settlement,” Velvel Freedman, member of the prosecution and partner at Roche Freedman, said in the filing.
Wright allegedly reneged on the non-binding agreement “without notice.”
Earlier, just days after the sanction was levied, Wright requested additional time to challenge the judge's court order due to the approach of Hurricane Dorian.
Kleiman is represented by Kyle Roche and Velvel Freedman of Roche Freedman LLP, while Wright is represented by Rivero Mestre LLP.
The trial date is set for March 30, 2020.
UPDATE (Nov. 3, 19:00 UTC): The headline of this article has been updated to clarify that a final settlement had not been reached; the parties had simply reached a non-binding agreement that could have led to one.
Law image via Shutterstock
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