Craig Wright Challenges Court Order Criticizing His Evidence in $4B Kleiman Case

Wright objected after a judge dismissed his attorney-client privilege over weak evidence.

AccessTimeIconMar 26, 2020 at 3:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:22 a.m. UTC

Craig Wright has objected to a court order dismissing his attorney-client privilege in an ongoing legal battle over a fortune in bitcoin (BTC).

On March 23, Wright filed his objection with the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida in an ongoing case brought by Ira Kleiman, brother of the late David Kleiman who was a former business partner of Craig Wright.

Wright said the order "erroneously disregarded the attorney-client relationship" between the defendant (Wright) and his attorney, based on "preconceived conclusions of the defendant's character."

The case hinges upon whether Wright can prove his ownership of 1.1 million bitcoin (worth around $7.5 billion) held in the so called "Tulip Trust" – a massive encrypted trove allegedly mined with Kleiman. The Kleiman estate is suing Wright for half the bitcoin as well as intellectual property.

After a mysterious "bonded courier" failed to arrive with the keys early in 2020, Wright told the court he is unable to prove his access to the trust due to attorney-client privilege.

Earlier this month, presiding District Magistrate Bruce Reinhart dismissed Wright's argument and apparently questioned the lawyer's existence.

According to a March 9 filing, Wright had presented a declaration stating: “I am lawyer [sic] and obtained my bachelor of law degree in 2007 from Moi University in Kenya.” Reinhart said he also introduced "a printout of a LinkedIn profile that reflects Mr. Mayaka having a Bachelor of Laws degree from Moi University," and asserted that Mayaka is counsel to the trust.

“I decline to rely on this kind of document, which could easily have been generated by anyone with word processing software and a pen,” Reinhart said.

The judge found last summer that Wright had argued in bad faith, committed perjury and admitted false evidence during the case.

According to Wright, the latest order "improperly relied on prior conclusions about [the] defendant that were unrelated to the existence of an attorney-client relationship and, in so doing, ignored the fundamental and bedrock principle of our legal system."

Wright has notoriously said he is the inventor of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, but has yet to provide conclusive evidence to support the claim.

Read Craig Wright's filing in full below:


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.