The U.K. High Court has ordered Peter McCormack to attend a hearing to assess his financial position following his failure to pay Dr. Craig Wright the £90,000 he currently owes in relation to Dr. Wright’s defamation suit against him.
The £90,000 relates to a series of filings by McCormack in 2021 in which he attempted to revive his abandoned legal defense at the eleventh hour. That mostly failed, and McCormack will now be defending against Dr. Wright’s defamation claim on the limited basis that though McCormack’s tweets were untrue, they did not cause serious harm to Dr. Wright’s reputation.
Now, McCormack is ordered to attend court on May 10 and submit to questioning under oath in order for the Court to get an accurate picture of his financial means. He must bring to court any and all documents in his control which might shed light on his finances, including pay slips, bank statements, share certificates, loan agreements, bills and more.
The hearing has the potential for some interesting fireworks. When the subject of Dr. Wright’s lawsuit against him comes up, McCormack often complains about the financial burden it has placed him under. In June 2021, he complained that the suit had caused him to get into a debt of £500,000 to his lawyers and that he’d had to sign his house over as a result:
Oh, and I am being sued by Craig Wright because I took him on (not for marketing because I tried to deflect from Hodlonaut).
Just so you know, I am in debt £500k to my lawyers and have had to sign my house over.
Spook, fuck off!
— Peter McCormack ☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) June 17, 2021
Superficially, that matches up with his failure to pay Dr. Wright what he’s owed. However, when McCormack is not demanding sympathy for a legal situation entirely of his own making, he’s bragging about his wealth on social media.
For example, shortly before the above-quoted tweet, McCormack was polling his following on which car he should buy. He settled on an Aston Martin in March.
We have a winner!!! pic.twitter.com/6qNGZUh0aT
— Peter McCormack ☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) March 20, 2021
Not content with the limited fawning attention this tweet drew in, he tweeted again a month later, remarking aloud that how strange it was that he didn’t buy a car that day.
Such a weird day, didn’t buy a single car.
— Peter McCormack ☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) April 17, 2021
In December 2021, McCormack bought local football club Bedford F.C.
NEWS: I can announce that I have agreed on a deal to acquire Bedford FC from their current chairman Lui.
— Peter McCormack ☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) December 16, 2021
Just who this techbro braggadocio is supposed to be for is anyone’s guess because as we’ve seen, McCormack pivots between painting himself as a financial martyr and boasting about how pumped his ‘crypto’ bags are.
Regardless, McCormack’s finances have always been dubious at best.
In February 2021, he announced he had defrauded his bank into giving him a $46,250 loan to buy BTC. When the bank predictably terminated their relationship with him just weeks later (and once he had been sufficiently ridiculed on Twitter for failing to see the connection with his admitted fraud), McCormack exasperatedly admitted that not only did he lie to the bank about that loan, but he lies to the bank as a matter of habit:
And for those bitching about me lying about a loan. I have lied to the bank with almost every single question they have asked me since I got involved in Bitcoin.
— Peter McCormack ☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) February 23, 2021
That McCormack would so openly admit to a criminal offense might be surprising, but it does make the idea that McCormack would have lied to the court about his means very believable. Unlike Twitter’s court of public opinion, however, in May McCormack will be bound to tell the truth on penalty of perjury.
To a degree, this achieves what Dr. Wright has often said is the purpose of his legal actions: to cut through the noise and fluff of ‘crypto’ social media and resolve disputes in the only way guaranteed to do so—by arguing in court under well-established rules of evidence and conduct.
One question that does remain is what happened to McCormack’s supposedly well-resourced legal fund, patronized by Tether. We know that McCormack lost all of that funding once both sides produced their evidence in Wright v McCormack, and though his Tether-funded legal counsel did reappear to defend the case on a highly limited basis, the unpaid £90,000 would suggest that this support was fleeting.
— Stuart Hoegner (@bitcoinlawyer) October 24, 2020
The exodus of support for McCormack comes at the same time as the flocking of support to the developers currently arguing in court that they owe no duties whatsoever to the many people using and relying on their blockchains, as is being claimed by Dr. Wright. That legal battle has drawn more even more support than McCormack’s did, with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey starting a ‘legal defense fund’, ostensibly to aid BTC developers that are facing lawsuits. Like COPA, the fund so far appears to have been created with the express intent of challenging Dr. Wright in court.
It’s also happening at the same time as Dr. Wright puts the finishing touches on another legal victory. In Florida, Dr. Wright won on all but one count in the lawsuit brought by Ira Kleiman, brother of the late Dave Kleiman who Ira says helped Dr. Wright invent Bitcoin. As a result of the one count he lost, Dr. Wright now owes just over $140 million to W&K, the company that Kleiman purported to bring the suit on behalf of. Except two separate filings in Palm Beach County indicate that the ownership status of W&K is highly questionable, and the company is at least part-owned by Dr. Wright himself. What’s more, this indicates that Ira Kleiman may never have been legally entitled to use W&K to sue Dr. Wright in the first place. Those two filings – one made by one of the trustees of the Tulip Trust and another by Lynn Wright in the probate case of Dave Kleiman’s estate – are expected to be resolved later this year.
For McCormack, his defense against Dr. Wright has been all but over for months. The £90,000 already owed to Dr. Wright is likely to climb higher when the limited trial begins on May 23, and will take place after Dr. Wright has had a chance to get McCormack on the record about his assets.
Whether Bedford F.C. or McCormack’s Aston Martin will be used to pay Dr. Wright’s final award remains to be seen.
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