Tech

Australian man claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto sued after allegations to ‘steal billions worth of Bitcoin’

In 2016, Craig Wright claimed he created Bitcoin with the help of now-deceased ex-colleague David Kleiman. Now, Craig is being sued by Dave’s brother Ira Kleiman, who claims Wright forged his deceased brother’s signatures in order to steal Dave’s bitcoins.

According to the lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Wright “forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him. Craig backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.”

Moreover, the lawsuit claims that Wright was able to get away with the devious plan because no one in Dave Kleiman’s family knew the extent of his involvement in bitcoin, nor that he had accumulated hundreds of thousands of bitcoins since bitcoins inception. Taking advantage of the families lack of knowledge, Wright “perpetrated a scheme against Dave’s estate to seize Dave’s bitcoins and his rights to certain intellectual property associated with the Bitcoin technology”.

It all started when Wright reached out to Dave’s brother Ira shortly after Dave’s death in 2013. Wright told Dave’s brother that Dave signed away all the rights to his Bitcoin and intellectual property in exchange for a share of an Australian company worth “millions”, and that he would sell Dave’s share of the company in a few months.

This was clearly a lie. After deceiving the Australian Tax Office (ATO), the company went bankrupt and Wright fled the country following the subsequent raid of his home by Australian authorities. Since then, he’s been living a life of wealth and luxury in London with all the stolen bitcoin.

While the Australian computer scientist and entrepreneur was able to trick many people including reputable members of the cryptocurrency community such as Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen that he created bitcoin, others are far from convinced. In 2016, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin said in a conference that Wright “is probably not Satoshi”… and it looks like his assumptions are proving to be correct.

Congruent with Buterin’s remarks, this 2016 article by TechCrunch highlights Wright’s refusal to publish any proof of his role in the creation of the original computer-based currency to the public just days after saying he would. Over the years, evidence has been stacking up against the self-proclaimed bitcoin creator.

Through various admissions, Wright made it clear that Daves estate is worth at least 300,000 bitcoins, but could be worth up to 1,100,111 bitcoins. This amount in bitcoin gives it a value of more than $11 billion USD today.

 

This article first appeared on CoinCentral.com

 

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