Craig Wright, who once claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, aka the inventor of Bitcoin, has been accused of attempting to swindle his former (and late) business partner Dave Kleiman’s estate of $5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency.
Kleiman, who died in 2013, was a forensic computer analyst, author of multiple books on IT security, and supposedly involved in the invention of Bitcoin. In 2011, he established a company called W&K Info Defense Research LLC in Florida with Wright. The duo allegedly held 1.1 million Bitcoins between them at the time.
According to the suit, filed by Kleiman’s family, Wright attempted to backdate and forge contracts, so as to transfer Kleiman’s assets to his own holdings. It alleges that Wright had designs on $5 billion worth of Kleiman’s Bitcoins and intellectual property pertaining to blockchain technologies.
In addition, it states that documents detailing the W&K company’s workings point to Kleiman being the sole member of the firm, and as such, his estate would be entitled to all 1.1 million Bitcoin mined there – which works out to a little over $10 billion. Naturally, Kleiman’s family wants all of it back.
In emails with Kleiman’s brother, Ira, Wright admitted that he was holding at least 300,000 Bitcoins that belonged to Kleiman.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, as it could potentially shed light on the shady origins of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. If Wright is found guilty, it could also affect nChain – the blockchain development firm where he serves as chief scientist – as well as Bitcoin Cash, the currency created last year by forking off from Bitcoin.
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