The $10 billion bitcoin lawsuit pending against self-proclaimed “Satoshi Nakamoto” Craig Wright is moving forward, with an interesting new court filing.
On July 24, Florida federal judge Bruce Reinhart filed a Request for International Judicial Assistance with the Queen’s Bench Division in London.
The Florida court seeks permission to question Wright’s wife and two of his business associates, all of whom are residents of that British jurisdiction.
Kleiman estate wants to depose Wright’s wife
The motion was filed on behalf of Ira Kleiman, the brother of deceased computer genius Dave Kleiman.
As CCN.com reported, Ira filed a $10 billion lawsuit against Wright in 2018, claiming Wright stole 1.1 bitcoin from Dave Kleiman before his 2013 death.
The Kleiman estate wants at least 300,000 bitcoin, along with their forked assets. Wright denies that he stole anything, and has repeatedly claimed that he is the sole inventor of bitcoin.
In the latest court filing, the Kleiman estate says it wants to question these three individuals:
- Ramona Watts, Craig Wright’s wife.
- Andrew O’Hagan, author of the book The Satoshi Affair.
- Robert MacGregor, a business associate of Wright.
Book claims to chronicle origins of bitcoin inventor
The Kleiman estate says O’Hagan “was provided extensive access” to Wright, his wife, and other associates while writing his book The Satoshi Affair. In the 2016 book, Wright made the claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
“During this 6-month process, O’Hagan recorded “many hours of tape” of his “many dozens of hours of conversations with Wright.”
The estate says Ramona Watts’ testimony is relevant because she is Wright’s wife and “was identified in his initial disclosures as an individual with knowledge of the facts underlying Plaintiffs’ claims.”
Moreover, the estate says Watts and Wright were involved in his companies since 2011 (which predates their marriage), and that Wright had discussed his business dealings concerning Dave Kleiman with her.
The Kleiman estate also says Wright gave Watts “detailed accounts of what he had done to invent bitcoin.”
“The Defendant testified that after they were married, they carried on as co-directors of bitcoin-related companies…and the sale of Satoshi Nakamoto’s life rights.”
Finally, Robert MacGregor is being sought for questioning because he is Wright’s business associate and the person to whom Wright allegedly sold Satoshi Nakamoto’s life rights.
“Mr. MacGregor was also involved in the purchasing intellectual property from the Defendant and facilitating his coming out as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2016. During this time frame, Mr. MacGregor was privy to details surrounding bitcoin’s creation, the alleged Satoshi Nakamoto partnership, and the trusts at the heart of the dispute in this case.”
Craig Wright next appears in court on August 7
Craig Wright’s next court appearance is scheduled for August 7 in Florida. When Wright first appeared in court on June 28, witnesses said he cried during emotional testimony.
According to transcripts, Wright was upset that “his” invention was being used for criminal activity such as money-laundering, drug sales, and child pornography.
At the time, Wright told Judge Bruce Reinhart that he can’t access the enormous bitcoin stash that he and Dave Kleiman had mined together.
Wright explained that this is because the holdings are being held in a blind trust, and he doesn’t have all the requisite keys to access them right now.
However, Wright says the entire 1.1 million in bitcoin “will be returned” to him on January 1, 2020. Using today’s bitcoin price, those holdings are worth about $10 billion.