The self-proclaimed creator of Bitcoin, Craig Wright, is obligated to attend the court proceedings next week after a US District judge rejected his motion to postpone the case or allow his attendance via video conferencing.
This marks the latest development in a case filed against Wright by the estate of the late IT security expert Dave Kleiman, which alleges him of stealing between 500,000 and 1 million bitcoin. At the time of writing, the value of these assets exceeded $8 billion.
After much wriggling from Wright trying to avoid disclosing his Bitcoin holdings or attending proceedings in person, the court has decided he must do both by June 18.
Craig Wright’s legal team wrote to the court asking to continue mediation, saying “Dr. Wright is a foreign citizen who lives and works in the United Kingdom. The burdens associated with travel to Florida for mediation at this juncture constitute good cause to permit attendance by video conference.”
The court, however, has denied the motion after reviewing the plaintiffs’ demands, which also includes ordering Wright to provide a list of owned Bitcoin addresses.
A dramatic story
According to the court papers, Dave Kleiman died in 2013 after having been confined to a wheelchair for years following a motorcycle accident in 1995. His estate filed a class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in 2016.
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The allegations concern the ownership of nearly 1.1 million bitcoins, as well as the intellectual property rights of various blockchain technologies.
Dave Kleiman was an IT expert in Palm 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.
In 2015, leaked emails from Wright to Kleiman showed they had been discussing a new form of electronic money, months before the launch of Nakomoto’s whitepaper about Bitcoin in January 2009.
The lawsuit claims that Wright schemed to steal Kleiman’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 Kleiman’s assets to his companies.
Shortly after his death, according to the filling, Wright made contact with Kleiman’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 could have been used when Wright tried to offer proof that he is the real Satoshi Nakamoto.