Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of the Gemini Exchange in New York are suing early bitcoin investor Charlie Shrem for allegedly stealing roughly 5,000 BTC.
Wealth Attracts Unwanted Attention
Shrem left prison in 2016 after a year-long sentence for allegedly helping people illegally purchase drugs online. Since his release, Shrem has reportedly purchased two Maserati vehicles, two power boats, and a $2 million home in Florida, along with other smaller real estate properties. However, Shrem claims that he went to prison with virtually no money in his pocket, which has aroused questions regarding where the funds came from.
The Winklevoss twins suspect that Shrem has been spending bitcoins that he owed them over the past six years, which at press time, would amount to a total of almost $32 million. Unsealed court documents detailing the current lawsuit state:
Either Shrem has been incredibly lucky and successful since leaving prison, or – more likely – he ‘acquired’ his six properties, two Maseratis, two powerboats and other holdings with the appreciated value of the 5,000 bitcoins he stole.
You Got Nothing!
Shrem’s lawyer, Brian Klein, believes that the statements made by the Winklevoss twins are “baseless.” He recently explained:
The lawsuit erroneously alleges that about six years ago, Charlie essentially misappropriated thousands of bitcoins. Nothing could be further from the truth. Charlie plans to vigorously defend himself and quickly clear his name.
Trouble on the Horizon
The lawsuit is already leading to several problems for the man commonly referred to as “Bitcoin’s first felon.” According to court documents, the judge who oversaw Shrem’s original trial four years ago has already agreed to freeze some of his financial assets.
Furthermore, an affidavit filed in court states that Shrem has not yet paid the nearly $1 million in restitution he owes the government as part of his 2014 guilty plea.
Where’s This Money Coming From?
Cameron says he and his brother first began looking for the missing bitcoins after they noticed Shrem’s extravagant spending. They ultimately hired an investigator, who claimed that roughly 5,000 BTC were transferred in 2013 to different addresses owned by Shrem on both Xapo and Coinbase.
When he purchased $4 million in real estate, two Maseratis and two powerboats, we decided it was time to get to the bottom of it.
Since his release two years ago, Shrem has been involved in several troubled cryptocurrency projects, including a crypto-based credit card and an initial coin offering (ICO). In both instances, Shrem and his fellow leaders were forced to offer refunds to investors after several partnerships that had been promised did not come through.
Whose side are you on? The Winklevoss twins’ or Charlie Shrem’s? Post your comments below!
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