Business

Erik Gibbs

Winklevoss bros. ordered to pay part of Charlie Shrem’s legal fees

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the Winklevoss brothers who founded the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange and Winklevoss Capital Fund (WCF), are going to have to pull out their wallets. A judge has ordered the twins to cough up $45,000 in order to cover certain legal fees in conjunction with a lawsuit they filed against entrepreneur and crypto investor Charlie Shrem. That lawsuit is still being heard in a New York court.

The Winklevoss brothers sued Shrem last year over allegations that he failed to properly manage a number of crypto purchases on their behalf. They claim that they gave Shrem $750,000 to purchase Bitcoin Core (BTC) in 2012 and then another $250,000 for the purchase of various other digital currencies a few months later. However, Shrem reportedly never followed through with the purchases, instead using the money for his own benefit. A judge ruled in favor of the twins, allowing them to seize as much as $30 million in assets held by Shrem.

That ruling was later overturned last November and Shrem filed a motion to force the brothers to cover some of the legal fees. Lawyers for the duo argued that Shrem was only entitled to reimbursement of a “de minimis amount” that he was charged and which amounted to just $5. However, U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff denied the claim, allowing Shrem to receive the larger reimbursement.

A lawyer for Shrem, Brian Klein, stated, “We are glad that the judge ruled for Charlie and ordered WCF to reimburse him for legal fees he incurred in overturning WCF’s approximately $30 million attachment order. This is another big step towards his full vindication.”

WCF was an investor in Shrem’s BitInstant company, an exchange that shut down in 2013. Shrem later served time behind bars in relation to BitInstant after he was found guilty of violating anti-money laundering regulations and of operating an unlicensed money transmittal business. He spent a year in jail and then, after being released, reportedly began a shopping spree of high-end luxury items, resulting in the Winklevoss brothers seeking legal relief for their lost BitInstant investments. That trial is scheduled to go back to court in June.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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