The billion-dollar bitcoin lawsuit continues in Southern Florida as court documents filed this week show a fierce battle between the two parties. Weeks ago news.Bitcoin.com reported that the high profile Kleiman v. Wright case was seemingly headed toward a settlement. However, the Kleiman estate filed a court document that explained: “Craig could no longer finance the settlement and was “breaking” the non-binding settlement agreement.” Wright is being sued by Ira Kleiman, the brother of the now-deceased David Kleiman because the Kleiman family believes Wright interfered with David’s BTC assets and intellectual property. A motion filed on Wednesday, November 20 shows that the Kleiman estate and the law firm Roche Freedman LLP seeks $658,581 in attorney fees and expenses. The attorneys say these fees and expenses accrued during the attempt to get court orders imposed against Wright.
During the last week, court documents stemming from the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit show that the Kleiman estate is now pursuing roughly $658,581 for attorney fees and expenses. Additionally, self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright has filed a motion to fight the sanctions imposed on half of his alleged BTC holdings and intellectual property.
Kleiman Estate Is Seeking More Than $650K for Attorney Fees and Expenses
Kleiman’s counsel is pursuing approximately $66,023 in expenses incurred during the compel process and roughly $592,558 in lawyer fees. Judge Beth Bloom has decided to have Magistrate Judge Reinhart look the motion over and also extended time for Wright’s objection filings. The plaintiffs’ attorneys Roche Freedman believe the $658,581 is based on “reasonable hourly rates” comparable law firms would charge for the work done so far. “[It is] an appropriate number of hours worked in light of the scope and extent of Craig’s deception and the amount at stake in this litigation,” the Kleiman estate’s filing reads.
Wright Wants Sanctions Lifted and Produces an Address Showing BTC Transfers With Mike Hearn
Filings submitted on Monday by Wright’s legal team, Rivero Mestre LLP, indicate that Wright wants the judge to lift the sanctions imposed against him. Rivero Mestre says that it is pretty much “impossible” for Wright to produce all his BTC addresses used before 2013.
“A two-day evidentiary hearing yielded uncontroverted testimony and other evidence establishing that (1) it was impossible for Dr. Craig Wright to produce a complete list of all bitcoin that he mined nearly a decade ago, and (2) even though producing such a list was impossible, Dr. Wright had taken extraordinary steps to create a list of the most probable Bitcoin addresses that he had mined,” Rivero Mestre’s court filing underscored.
According to Wright’s defense team, the order was a “judgment of liability without trial” and the attorneys believe Judge Reinhart doesn’t have the power over certain jurisdictions. Moreover, the Bitcoin security specialist Wizsec looked into claims Wright made toward ownership of a specific address that saw bitcoins being sent to former BTC developer Mike Hearn.
“Craig Wright says he ‘definitely knows’ he mined these bitcoins and sent them to Mike Hearn, but anyone who spends more than five minutes Googling those historical transactions will realize this is actually Hearn’s address,” Wizsec wrote on November 26. The criticism against Wright’s claims continued as Wizsec declared:
[The BTC address] held coins mined by Mike Hearn, not Satoshi. Hearn used them to return Satoshi’s gifted 50 BTC. This is trivial to piece together from their publicly available email exchanges.
The Debate Over Stolen Bitcoins
Members of the crypto community also discussed the resurgence of Wright talking about the alleged bonded courier and the so-called Tulip Trust. On Kleiman v. Wright filing document 311, the defense attorneys say: “At most the discovery ordered would have shown that bitcoin Dr. Wright had mined were moved from one pseudonymous public address to another pseudonymous public address. Even if plaintiffs knew the identity of Dave’s public addresses (they have failed to introduce any such evidence) and were able to strip away the pseudonymity, showing that [the] bitcoin Dr. Wright mined were later transferred into Dave’s public addresses would not show that Dr. Wright stole bitcoin from Dave – If anything, it would show that Dave stole bitcoin from Dr. Wright.”
The filing notes that during the two-day evidentiary hearing, the plaintiffs failed to “demonstrate that a list of Dr. Wright’s mined Bitcoin addresses would have any connection to any allegation in their complaint.” Wright wants Reinhart’s order to be tossed out and it’s very likely that Judge Beth Bloom will preside over the next ruling. Court documents show that the Kleiman estate is attempting to hold a hearing on December 4, 2019.