The latest candidate for Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Craig Steven Wright, has reportedly been in trouble with the law in the past.
Recent reports suggest that Wright is the real-world identity behind Satoshi Nakamoto, though they also acknowledge that he may have deliberately planted misleading evidence. The reports are the best stab yet at uncovering Satoshi’s identity.
According to documents reviewed by Sydney Morning Herald, Wright was convicted of contempt of court by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2004. He allegedly made business approaches to News Limited (now News Corp Australia), ASX Limited and the state owned Rail Infrastructure Corporation, all customers of DeMorgan Information Security Systems, from where Wright had resigned in 2003.
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He was sentenced to 28 days in prison. The sentence was suspended on condition of him performing 250 hours of community service. He appealed the decision in 2005 and 2006 but lost.
Yesterday’s raid of his suburban Sydney home happened around the same time of the Satoshi reports, though Australian police say the raid wasn’t linked to them. The raid was reportedly ordered based on an Australian Tax Office (ATO) warrant, possibly for tax liabilities relating to his Bitcoin businesses.
One of his companies, Hotwire Preemptive Intelligence, is undergoing liquidation because it was “was unable to meet its trading liabilities from around February 2014” after ATO withheld a GST refund claim of about $3.1 million. ATO said that it was withholding the amount “pending further verification of transactions and the treatment of Bitcoin.”
Several months ago, Australia’s Senate Economics References Committee indeed recommended that bitcoin be treated as currency, reversing previous guidance from ATO.