Anyone who thought that the lead Satoshi Nakamoto impersonator, Craig Wright, would finally have accepted defeat and scurried off back into obscurity again by now, must be getting increasingly disappointed. Despite losing the well-documented Kleiman case back in August, Wright is still trying to wriggle out of paying the $658,000 legal fees.
The (Highly Implausible) Story So Far
Craig Wright says that he invented Bitcoin back in 2009 and proceeded to mine 1.1 million of them with his late business partner, Dave Kleiman. Kleiman died in 2013 after contracting MRSA, leaving Wright to put the bitcoin into a so-called ‘tulip trust’.
Kleiman’s brother, Ira, sued Wright in February 2018, saying that some of them belonged to Dave’s estate (i.e. him), despite research suggesting that the disputed bitcoin was neither owned by Wright, nor Kleiman. Wright was ordered- and failed – to list Satoshi’s bitcoin, and presented demonstrably forged documentation to support his losing case.
Finally, in August this year, the judge found Wright ‘not to be credible’ and ruled against him, ordering him to pay Kleiman’s legal costs, as well as hand over half of his BTC.
Craig Wright Says Fees Are ‘Unreasonable’
Whilst that should have been the end of it, both parties agreed to a further delay in order to negotiate a settlement out of court. Presumably this was because Ira Kleiman realised that 50% of 1.1 million bitcoin that everyone told him Craig Wright didn’t actually have wasn’t going to be worth much…
Of course, what actually happened was very little, with the lack of progress towards an acceptable deal eventually leading to Kleiman’s estate filing a motion for $658k in legal fees.
Craig Wright’s latest filing asks for this to be thrown out in its entirety, or barring this, that an evidentiary hearing is ordered. This is based on the assertion that the claimed hourly fees are unreasonable, as is the amount of time spent.
Some Shouting Still To Come, It Seems
Unfortunately, it seems Craig has a point. One of Kleiman’s lawyers, with just two years’ experience, charged $690 per hour, furthermore this is quoted at a different rate in other documentation. And between both of Kleiman’s lawyers, they are billing for almost 720 hours work to file two motions (totalling eleven pages), and an evidentiary hearing lasting approximately 13 hours.
Craig Wright also argues that the motion for the fees was not served in time, although one suspects that this is largely due to the supposed attempt to come to an out of court agreement.
It is hard not to agree with Wright that there has been an element of greed to the bringing of this case from the outset. In the seemingly increasingly unlikely event that Wright will (or is able to) cough up the disputed bitcoin, perhaps Kleiman sees his only chance at gaining financially through an inflated fee claim.
Or perhaps this one is purely down to the lawyers. But surely there can’t be many of those who are unscrupulous and greedy!
Craig Wright Isn’t Done With Lawsuits Yet
But while it has been fun to watch Wright bumble his way through a bunch of poorly forged documents in this court case, this is simply just the start of Craig’s lawsuits.
Much more interesting will be watching him try to prove unequivocally that he is Satoshi Nakomoto in the ongoing Peter McCormack libel case. As of October, his evidence seemed to primarily rely on coffee stains and rusty staples.
One can only imagine what he will produce next if that ever goes the distance.
Do you think Craig will end up having to fork out nearly $700,000 for legal fees? Let us know your thoughts below!
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