Since Valentine’s Day 2018, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright has been defending himself in court against the Kleiman family. The lawsuit started because the Kleiman estate believes Wright manipulated the now deceased David Kleiman’s bitcoin assets and intellectual property.
The lawsuit has been one of the most high profile cases in the U.S. because it involves billions of dollars in BTC that was ostensibly stored in a blind trust.
On December 16, new court filings from the Kleiman v. Wright case show the plaintiffs have responded to Wright’s objections against the magistrate’s court order. Kleiman’s lawyer Velvel Freedman explained that Craig’s statements in court “lacked credibility”, his constant change of stories “demonstrates falsity” and Freedman claims Wright’s “trust documents are forgeries.”
Wright’s Conduct Antithetical to the Administration of Justice, Says Kleiman Attorney
After months of discovery hearings, objections, and court orders, the Kleiman estate filed a new motion against Wright’s objection towards Judge Reinhart’s recent court order. On August 26, Wright was ordered by Southern District Court of Florida to distribute half of his bitcoin holdings and intellectual property assets from prior to 2014. At first, Wright and his legal team came to a non-binding settlement, but the deal eventually fell through. After the settlement was broken, Wright attempted to object to Judge Reinhart’s order, claiming a lack of jurisdiction. In the filing on submitted on Tuesday, Velvel Freedman noted that Wright believes he’s been treated unfairly, but Freedman stressed that Wright’s issues in court stem from “his own conduct.”
“Craig is not the victim here. On the contrary, as Judge Reinhart found, Craig’s conduct in this litigation has been ‘antithetical to the administration of justice’ and ‘no lesser sanction would suffice,’” Freedman wrote. Freedman asserted that the record supports Judge Reinhart’s findings and remedy entirely while the order is “absolutely justified given the gravity of Craig’s offenses.” Kleiman’s lawyer added:
Indeed, Craig’s Objection to the Order, far from calling into question its correctness, demonstrates that he is recalcitrant, and – given the opportunity – would engage in the same conduct that led to the Order in the first place. In fact, mere hours after Judge Reinhart read the Order into the record, Craig walked out of court and into an interview where he admitted that he lied to the Court. The next day he gave an interview calling Judge Reinhart a ‘silly judge.’
Kleiman’s lawyer Velvel Freedman noted that after the court order, Wright did an interview with Modern Consensus columnist Brendan Sullivan. Exhibit 3 filed on December 16, 2019.
A Fanciful and Self-Conflicting Story
Freedman then said that the plaintiffs attempted to use the discovery process to identify the bitcoin mined as part of the partnership between Wright and Kleiman. Wright, of course, objected and the objection was subsequently overruled by Judge Reinhart. On June 11, 2019, Craig told the court for the first time that providing plaintiffs with a list of his bitcoin holdings was “impossible” because he did not possess the information necessary to access it.
Reinhart then gave Wright the opportunity to explain why he couldn’t access the funds. “To carry that burden, Craig told (under oath) a fanciful story about a mysterious “encrypted file” held in a trust – Not only did this story conflict with his previous sworn testimony and his motion papers, as explained below, the story itself was self-conflicting”, the plaintiffs’ filing revealed. “In support of his story, Craig put forward documents which he swore were ‘authentic’ to prove that the ‘encrypted file’ and the trust exist. Plaintiffs exposed these documents as forgeries.” Freedman’s filing continued:
Instead of being ashamed, or trying to hide behind some procedural or legal technicality, Craig brazenly opened his objection to Judge Reinhart’s order by asserting that ‘there is absolutely no basis for imposing any sanctions’ on him because ‘the uncontroverted evidence shows that he is unable to access a listing of’ his bitcoin. The only thing ‘uncontroverted’ about Craig is that he’s a perjurer and a forger. Craig’s claim that his ‘testimony stands unrebutted by plaintiffs’ is simply blind to reality.
Excerpt from Exhibit 3 filed on December 16, 2019.
The motion against Wright’s recent objection highlights the time when Wright was confronted with evidence indicating that certain documents had been fabricated or altered and he “became extremely defensive.” Wright tried to “sidestep questioning” and made “vague comments about his systems being hacked and others having access to his computers.” None of these excuses have been corroborated by other evidence, Freedman’s filing insisted. Moreover, the Kleiman attorney also noted that Wright vehemently claimed “there are no public addresses in the Bitcoin system” and further stated that “public addresses don’t exist.” Freedman says that this absurdity is akin to saying:
How do unicorns relate to this Court?
The Plaintiffs Assert That Wright’s Objections Should Be Overruled in Their Entirety
Following 29 pages of arguments, Freedman concluded that the court is faced with a man who “has no respect for the authority of the court, or for the fair administration of justice.” The plaintiffs wholeheartedly believe Wright has lied throughout the entire lawsuit and is now attempting to hide behind a “blanket of due process.” Freedman concluded by underlining that Judge Reinhart gave Wright the opportunity to show that his admitted violation of the court’s order was due to the impossibility of compliance.
“Craig was sanctioned harshly, but fairly – Craig’s Objections should be overruled in their entirety”, Freedman added. According to the court docket, a discovery hearing conference will be held on December 18 in West Palm Beach court. Lawsuit participants are allowed to attend the discovery via telephone by using the court’s conference call system.