Craig Wright, the Australian entrepreneur who claimed two years ago to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, is being sued for more $5 billion worth of Bitcoin by the estate of the late IT security expert Dave Kleiman.
Dave Kleiman died in 2013 after having been confined to a wheelchair for years following a motorcyle accident in 1995. His estate filed a class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on February 14.
The allegations concern the ownership of between 550,000 and 1.1 million bitcoins, as well as the intellectual property rights of various blockchain technologies. “As of the date of filing, the value of these assets far exceed $5,118,266,427.50 USD,” the estate’s lawyers wrote in a statement.
Dave Kleiman was an IT expert in Pam Beach, Florida, who had much expertise in computer forensics and security. The relationship with Craig Wright, which remained mostly hidden, was born out of a mutual obsession with cryptography and data security, the court papers say.
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In 2015, leaked emails from Wright to Kleiman showed they had been discussing a new form of electronic money, months before the launch Nakomoto’s whitepaper about Bitcoin in January 2009.
The lawsuit claims that Wright schemed to steal Dave’s bitcoins and the intellectual property rights associated with cryptocurrency technology. In addition, he forged and backdated a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to his companies.
Shortly after his death, according to the filling, Wright made contact with Dave’s brother to inform him that they had been working on a project together and that Kleiman had mined enormous amounts of bitcoins, and requested to check his old computers for wallet files.
This might have given Wright access to information that only Satoshi could have known, which in turn have been used when Craig once tried to offer proof that he is the real Satoshi Nakamoto.