EXCLUSIVE: Craig Wright’s ex-wife filing puts Kleiman lawsuit in jeopardy

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Ira Kleiman’s efforts to get his hands on the Satoshi fortune have been dealt another blow, with new filings by Craig Wright’s ex-wife Lynn Wright potentially gutting the foundational narrative of Kleiman’s case. You can read a copy of Lynn Wright’s petition filed on July 16, 2020 with the court here.

The mystery surrounding the relationship between Craig Wright and the late Dave Kleiman, together with the actual ownership structure of W&K (the entity alleged to be at the heart of the Kleiman lawsuit), have been a common feature in the case so far, in part due to the limited and non-availability of documentation from the time Wright and Kleiman worked together and the entity was incorporated. This is critical to the outcome of the case, because not only is there a jurisdictional issue if the ownership interest holds the same citizenship as the defendant, Craig, but because Ira is purporting to sue Craig on behalf of W&K—which would imply (as has been overtly represented by Ira) that he has a controlling interest in the company.

Cynically, one might suppose that Ira was relying on the lack of any kind of paper trail left behind by Craig and Dave’s professional relationship—whatever that may have been—and this created the room needed for Ira to construct the narrative outlined in the lawsuit. This might have worked—after all, thousands of man hours, hundreds of court filings and countless hearings have already been dedicated to litigating this case, by both sides.

All of that changed today. Lynn Wright, the estranged ex-wife of Bitcoin founder Craig Wright, just filed a petition in the Florida courts staking a claim to W&K—the company alleged to be at the heart of the Kleiman lawsuit—and providing the most concrete account of the formation and structure of the company so far, further undermining Kleiman’s already-questionable version of events.

Lynn Wright filing discredits Kleiman

In this petition, Lynn asks the Court for two things.

First, she asks that they determine the beneficiary shares of W&K. Supported by documentation contemporary to the earliest days of W&K, Lynn claims that the company was formed in February 2011 by herself, Dave Kleiman and Craig—the W, K and Info Defence which make up the name, respectively. According to the petition, Craig transferred 50% of his interest in the company to Lynn as a part of their divorce settlement in 2011.

Upon Dave’s death, Lynn and Craig were the only remaining members. In light of this and assuming it is true, Kleiman’s actions in the years following Dave’s death—replacing Dave as the registered agent for the company with the elusive Ms Nguyen and filings made in Florida purporting to reinstate the company with him as the managing member—become more sinister. 

Secondly, she asks the Court to declare that Ira Kleiman did not have the authority to initiate his lawsuit against Craig Wright, that he is not a member of W&K and has no authority to represent himself as such or act on behalf of the company.

Ultimately, Lynn is arguing that Ira’s powers in his capacity as representative for Dave’s estate entitle him to no more than an accounting of Dave’s interest in W&K—and certainly does not entitle him to direct W&K—in which he himself has no interest—to sue Craig Wright. Even if he was so entitled, Dave’s 1/3 interest in W&K isn’t a voting majority, so in any case, Ira couldn’t direct W&K to enter into litigation without the consent of at least one of the other members.

Kleiman’s case undermined

Lynn Wright’s court action will have a significant impact on the Kleiman case, and especially if it causes the Court to accept some or all of Craig Wright’s motion for summary judgment. In fact, it could prove fatal to Ira Kleiman’s lawsuit.

Firstly, as it now seems that Lynn Wright was a key figure in the formation of W&K, the conflict between her version of events and the narrative spun by Kleiman is stark, and lends credence to the defence’s claim that Kleiman’s suit is little more than a ‘thin soup of supposition’.

But more substantively, the implications of Lynn Wright’s filing are huge. Not only does the now-apparent lack of authority on Ira Kleiman’s part to cause W&K to sue Wright form a significant part of Wright’s past motions for summary judgment, the Court had previously rejected a motion for dismissal filed by Craig on the basis that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case.

It is hoped that the testimony of Lynn will cause the Court in the Kleiman case to revisit that finding, which was made on the basis that Wright had not offered any concrete evidence to show that other foreign members of W&K exist, which would destroy the Court’s jurisdiction to hear the case. In that finding, the Court rejected Wright’s attempts to show that his Australian ex-wife was a party to W&K for lack of evidence—but with Lynn’s filing this week, it appears the Court may have been too hasty in its dismissal.

With the appearance of Lynn Wright this week, that earlier finding of jurisdiction should be in jeopardy—together with the rest of Ira Kleiman’s case.

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