Wright v Wright

Craig Wright Bitcoin Trial Verdict: Jury sides with defense on 6 of 7 counts

After 21 long days in court, the Kleiman v Wright trial has come to an end. The jury has answered “no” in 6 out of 7 counts on the verdict sheet, except for Dr. Craig Wright committing conversion and must therefore pay $100 million to W&K Info Defense Research LLC. Compared to the $152 billion that the plaintiffs were looking to be awarded, this is just a blip on the radar and a big win for the defense.

What does this mean?

The jury was tasked with answering these two questions: did Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman have a partnership in writing the Bitcoin white paper as Satoshi Nakamoto and a business partnership in which they mined 1.1 million Bitcoin together, and did Dr. Wright fraudulently transfer assets that belonged to Dave Kleiman to himself?

After hearing both sides make their case and seeing numerous amounts of evidence presented by the plaintiff’s lawyers—Freedman, Roche, and Brenner—and the defense’s lawyers—Rivero, Mestre, McGovern—the jury concluded that there was no partnership between Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman, but that Dr. Wright did take control of Dave Kleiman’s property without the proper consent.

As a result, W&K Info Defense Research LLC, one of the plaintiffs in the case as well as the company that Dave Kleiman owned a 25% minor percentage of, will be awarded $100 million.

Interestingly, Dr. Wright is a beneficiary of W&K Info Defense Research LLC, and his ex-wife Lynn Wright is the 75% majority shareholder of the company. Ultimately, this means that a portion of the money that Dr. Wright must pay W&K could find its way back his ex-wife Lynn Wright’s wallet.

Will coins move?

Many spectators and blockchain enthusiasts eagerly watched the Bitcoin trial of the century in Florida because they believed crucial evidence would come out in the court that would show the world that Dr. Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto. However, the defense’s legal strategy did not encompass the idea that bringing this evidence to the world via court would be necessary for them to secure a victory.

But even with that evidence sidelined, the world still watched and wondered if Dr. Wright would need to move Bitcoin that it is believed only Satoshi has control of. Yet it remains unclear if Dr. Wright will need to move coins or not.

“I don’t think we are going to find that out just yet,” said Peter Tragos from Tragos Law firm.

After the verdict is when the real settlement negotiations happen sometimes, and that can be, ‘I’ll sign over my house to you, I’ll sign over this rare car to you, I’ll sign over this bitcoin, I’ll sign over shares to W&K, whatever it may be.’ It can be paid in a number of different ways if the plaintiff and the defendant agree, and they sign off that the final judgment is satisfied.”

Not many people are liquid $100 million so assets are expected to move to meet the $100 million bill, but there is no guarantee that those assets will be any of the 1.1 million bitcoins that Dr. Wright owns.

What happens next?

“I would expect appeals to come [next],” Tragos said.

Although both the defense and the plaintiffs seem happy with the outcome of this trial, we may see the plaintiff’s lawyers file an appeal in hopes of getting more out of Dr. Wright than the $100 million that was awarded to them today.

Learn more about the verdict in the Kleiman v. Wright trial on the CoinGeek YouTube channel.

YouTube video

Check out all of the CoinGeek special reports on the Kleiman v Wright YouTube playlist.

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