$10 Billion: Dave Kleinman's Estate Files Mammoth Suit Against 'Bitcoin Creator' Craig Wright
Early Bitcoin adopter Dave Kleinman's estate has sued Bitcoin founder Craig Wright for more than $10 billion for allegedly stealing more than 1 million BTC.
The complaint, which was dated Feb. 14 and registered by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP on behalf of Kleinman's brother Ira, alleges that Kleinman and Wright were both involved with Bitcoin development from the project's beginning.
The record avoided stating outright that both or either of these were Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, as Wright has maintained before.
However, the complaint claimed that the two men mined more than 1.1 million BTC through W&K Info Defense Research LLC, a company formed by Kleinman and owned entirely by him or held in partnership with Wright.
Kleinman provided his family with few details about his involvement in Bitcoin, and — upon his death in April 2013 after a long battle with MRSA — Wright allegedly forged and backdated a set of contracts which transferred Kleinman's cryptocurrency assets to Wright or his associated companies.
Wright later told Ira Kleinman that his brother had signed away these property rights for stocks — supposedly worth «millions» — in one of Wright's companies, but this company went bankrupt shortly after, leaving Kleinman's estate with nothing as Wright continued to live a lavish lifestyle bankrolled by his supposedly ill-gotten BTC.
According to these and other claims, the plaintiff requested the court to induce Wright to return the stolen funds — that amount to between 550,055.5 and 1,100,111 BTC based on the ownership structure of W&K — to Kleinman's estate.
At the time of filing, these funds were worth more than $10.2 billion, while the value of the two largest Bitcoin-derived forks — Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) — adds another $1.5 billion.
Boies Schiller Flexner LLP did not immediately respond to a question regarding the document's validity, but documents filed with the court indicate that the firm has levied a case against Wright and that he has already been issued a summons, to which he must respond within 21 days of receipt.