Last December, a case between Craig Wright – an Australian computer scientist and the self-proclaimed inventor of bitcoin – and David Kleiman, now deceased, saw Wright having to forfeit as much as $100 million to Kleiman’s family and estate. It was alleged in the case that the two had worked together on various bitcoin-related projects several years prior and that Kleiman never received the financial payouts he was owed.
Craig Wright Has to Pay Even More
However, while $100 million might be a big number on paper, the initial reward money sought by Kleiman’s family was in the billions, so many analysts believe that Wright ultimately got off easy. However, at the time of writing, it appears another $43 million in interest payments have been added to the verdict.
The case occurred regarding a company that the two men – both Wright and Kleiman – had co-founded together called W&K Info Defense Research. Ira Kleiman – the brother of David – sued Wright in 2018 and alleged he had tried hard to steal as many as 1.1 million bitcoin units from his sibling. Today, those units would be worth around $43 billion. It was also alleged that Wright sought to steal intellectual property relating to bitcoin software that David had invented.
The case lasted for three weeks in Florida, and while the number didn’t even compare with what the Kleiman estate was looking for, members of the deceased man’s family were awarded $100 million through the jury’s final ruling. Now, it appears that ruling has been altered to include an additional $43 million which court authorities dub as “interest payments” for the last nine years. The amended final judgement for the case states:
Consistent with the Court’s Order, E.C.F. No. , prejudgment interest shall be awarded in the amount of $43,132,492.48 pursuant to Florida Statute § 55.03.
Council members for W&K Info released a statement claiming that they were enthused by the additional monies that the Kleiman family would receive. They said:
We are pleased that Judge Bloom granted our client more than $43 million in prejudgment interest on top of the jury’s $100 million verdict. This final judgment, like the verdict that led to it, sets a historical precedent in cryptocurrency and blockchain. Our firms, Roche Freedman and Boies Schiller Flexner, are honored to have represented the plaintiffs, protected Kleiman’s legacy, and ensured his family received the benefits of his labor that paved the way for this innovative and transformative industry.
We Still Won…
Wright did not object to having to pay additional funds. His lawyer Andrew Rivero said this was still a huge victory for Wright, mentioning:
Even with interest, the award is but a fraction of the amount the plaintiffs claimed and argued to the jury ($200 billion times three or a total of $600 billion). The result remains a disappointing outcome for Kleiman, who had hoped to get a vast fortune.