craig wright
Last month, a judge ordered Craig Wright to turn over 50% of the bitcoin he mined with his former business associate, deceased computer genius Dave Kleiman. | Image: YouTube/BBC

Craig Wright and Ira Kleiman have entered settlement discussions, with both parties requesting a 30-day extension of all case deadlines to facilitate negotiations.

According to a joint motion filed on Sept. 17, the parties have reached a “non-binding agreement in principle” to settle the case, with both parties agree that reaching a binding settlement is in their “best interests.”

Both parties are seeking an extension of all deadlines pertaining to the case in order to exclusively devote their efforts to settlement discussions. Currently, Kleiman’s motion for attorneys’ fees is due on Sept. 20, Wright’s opposition to sanctions ordered by Judge Reinhart is due on Sept. 23, and expert disclosures are due on Nov. 5.

Many analysts have attributed the 40% federal estate tax incurred by Ira Kleiman through the court’s ruling as the motivation for the plaintiff’s desire to settle.

The case has been ongoing since 2018, when Ira Kleiman sued Craig Wright for $10 billion, alleging that Wright had sought to fraudulently gain custody over his late-brother David Kleiman’s bitcoin holdings.

Court Rules Against Craig Wright

On August 27, the magistrate overseeing the case, Judge Bruce Reinhart, ruled in favor of Kleiman.

By Reinhart’s assessment, both parties had a “50/50 partnership,” and that the plaintiffs retain an ownership interest in roughly 1.1 million bitcoin.

As such, the judge ruled that Wright must forfeit 50% percent of any bitcoin-related intellectual property developed by Wright prior to Kleiman’s death in 2014, in addition to 50% of any bitcoin that was mined by Wright prior to Kleiman’s death.

The court also ruled that Wright must pay for any attorney’s fees and reasonable expenses related to the filing and litigation of the case incurred by Kleiman.

Wright’s Testimony Found to be “Intentionally Misleading”

Craig Wright claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, but has failed to provide convincing evidence. | Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

The judge concluded that Wright had made “inconsistent statements” relating to material matters concerning his purported inability to demonstrate the value of his bitcoin holdings as of Dec. 31, 2013. Judge Reinhart asserted:

“I completely reject Dr. Wright’s testimony about the alleged Tulip Trust, the alleged encrypted file, and his alleged inability to identify his bitcoin holdings.”

According to the magistrate, Wright’s testimony “was not supported by other evidence in the record” and “defies common sense and real-life experience.” The judge also noted that “When it was favorable to him,” Wright “appeared to have an excellent memory and a scrupulous attention to detail.” Otherwise, however, Wright was found to be “belligerent and evasive.”

The court found that Wright had numerous reasons not to tell the truth, citing “evidence indicating that relevant documents were altered in or about 2014, when the Australian Tax Office was investigating one of Dr. Wright’s companies” to suggest that Wright’s testimony may have been motivated by “legal and factual positions he took in the Australian Tax Office investigation and from which he cannot now recede.”

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

You May Also Like

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin to Sign ‘Free Virgil Griffith’ Petition Following FBI Arrest

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is signing a petition to free estranged Virgil Griffith who was arrested by the FBI on thanksgiving.

Analyst Explains Why Bitcoin Price Could Plummet to $2,020 in 2020

An analyst says bitcoin could crash to $2,000 to $3,000 range as…

VeChain (VET) Jumps a Whooping 26%, Thanks to an Iconic Retro Game Remake

Contrary to the rest of the crypto market VeChain (VET) is up 26% today and showing no signs of slowing down, but what’s driving the token?

Holders of Over 11 Million Bitcoin are Proving That Hodl Is Not Just a Meme

HODL is such a popular trading strategy in the crypto community that…

Bitcoin Price Suffered 31% November Slump But a Hostile China Boosts Outlook

Bitcoin price dropped by 31% since October. Yet, Spencer Bogart sees strengthening fundamentals pushing BTC up in the medium-term.

Limited Edition Bitcoin Watch Beckons Mt. Gox Remnants

A limited edition bitcoin watch with a widely known Mt. Gox wallet was spotted in Abu Dhabi. Is the royal family linked to the scandal?