A new development in the Kleiman v Wright lawsuit was announced today as a member of the plaintiff’s representation disclosed that Wright has not complied with a court directive to list his bitcoin holdings prior to December 31, 2013.
A show cause hearing will follow next week, and Wright may be held in contempt of court at either the civil or criminal level.
Velve Freedman of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP the firm representing plaintiff Ira Kleiman tweeted:
Craig Wright hasn’t complied with the court’s order to list his bitcoin as of 12/31/13. He remains under an order to show cause why J. Reinhart shouldn’t issue sanctions under R.37 & order him to appear before J. Bloom to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt. @KyleWRoche
— Vel Freedman (@VelvelFreedman) June 21, 2019
Florida judge Bruce Reinhart had ordered Craig Wright, who claims to have invented the bitcoin software, to disclose his bitcoin addresses in an ongoing lawsuit filed by the estate of his former business partner, David Kleiman.
Ira Kleiman, Dave’s brother, on behalf of the Kleiman estate accused the Australian entrepreneur of scheming to seize a shared holding of bitcoin the two mined together between 2009 and 2011, as well as Kleiman’s intellectual property. The plaintiff seeks the return of half of a 1.1 million bitcoin stockpile, allegedly held in the “Tulip Trust,” which Wright claimed consolidated bitcoin he mined and purchased between 2009 and 2011.
According to a court declaration filed on May 8, Wright said seven trustees were named, including Craig Wright, David Kleiman, and Ms. Uyen Nguyen — whom Wright claimed he has had no contact with since 2016. Wright has also said in the past, “Access to the encrypted file that contains the public addresses and their associated private keys to the Bitcoin that I mined, requires myself and combination of trustees reference in Tulip Trust I to unlock based on Shamir scheme.”
In the declaration, Wright also pointed to the existence of bitcoin mined under his direction at by staff at HighSecured and Signia Enterprises. Wright said this stockpile is also inaccessible.
The existence of a previously unknown second Tulip Trust – to which Equater Consultants is named a trustee – also come to light in the court document.
It is unknown how the Federal court has ascertained the existence of bitcoin holdings not previously disclosed by Wright. A transcript of a hearing held on June 11 before Judge Reinhart is under seal, along with the bitcoin listings Wright has provided.
Stephen Palley, a lawyer who has followed the case closely but does not represent either party, said, “This is a huge pressure point in settlement negotiations which may or may not be happening.”
Here's the deal — Wright could actually be held in contempt, civil or criminal. And pay fees of the other side, regardless. This is a huge pressure point in settlement negotiations which may or may not be happening.
— Palley (@stephendpalley) June 21, 2019
Negotiations between the parties reached an impasse at a mediation session held on June 18.
Neither Freedman or Palley responded to a request for comment. As it stands Wright will appear for a deposition on June 28, at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.