Verdict appealed in Wright/Kleiman court dispute over bitcoin billions, use of funds

A case disputing ownership of bitcoins worth billions of dollars that ended in December with a Florida jury deciding in favor of defendant Craig Wright on all but one of seven counts was appealed on Friday by the estate of David Kleiman, Reuters reported.

Wright was hit with a single count of unauthorized use of funds involving Kleiman and Wright's former joint partnership, W&K Info Defense Research, which was awarded $100 million, The Block reported in December. A final judgment in March added $43 million to that.

Still, the jury found that Kleiman was not a partner with Wright in the creation of bitcoin, which Wright claims he invented, and therefore not entitled to as much as $47 billion worth of bitcoin holdings. The case did not try to resolve the question of who created Bitcoin, just whether Kleiman and Wright were partners in doing so.

Wright has been locked in a legal battle with the estate of his deceased partner since 2018. While he acknowledged Kleiman as a frequent collaborator and friend, Wright argued that Kleiman’s involvement was not sufficient to constitute a business partnership when it came to the creation of Bitcoin.


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Kleiman’s estate is appealing a ruling that rejected a bid for a new trial, a March final judgment awarding the partnership $143 million in total and "all antecedent orders" to the final judgment, according to Reuters.

Wright said in a statement on Friday: "I won the first time and fully expect I will win again."

Kleiman's attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters said.

The case is Kleiman v. Wright, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 9:18-cv-80176.

About Author

Mike Millard has worked as an editor for Bloomberg and Reuters, various newspapers and websites. He lived in Asia for more than two decades and now calls the Greek island of Corfu home. He is the author of three books.