Australian police raided the home and office of Craig Steven Wright, hours after reports suggesting him as Bitcoin’s creator were published.
Wright, according to the reports, also ran a number of Bitcoin businesses. He had reportedly invested heavily in various computer infrastructure and even built one of the top supercomputers in the world. If he is Bitcoin’s creator, he may be sitting on around 1 million bitcoins, today worth roughly $400 million.
According to Reuters, The Australian Federal Police (AFP) stated that the officers’ “presence at Mr. Wright’s property in suburban Sydney is not associated with the media reporting overnight about bitcoins.” Police would not comment on the reason for their investigation. One officer said they were “clearing the house.”
Over a dozen officers entered his house, the door of which was broken open by locksmiths.
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The AFP referred all inquiries to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), which said it could not comment on “any individual’s or entity’s tax affairs” due to legal confidentiality.
According to the reports suggesting that he is Satoshi, Wright may have been in discussions with ATO regarding the tax treatment of bitcoin. He reportedly wanted it to be treated as currency, perhaps to avoid heavy capital gains tax that would possibly imperil his finances. Several months ago, Australia’s Senate Economics References Committee indeed recommended that bitcoin be treated as currency, reversing previous guidance from ATO.
Wright’s reported partner, David Kleiman, reportedly referred to the “lies and fraud perpetrated by Adam Westwood of the Australian Tax Office against Dr Wright” in a 2011 letter.
Several police officers were reportedly seen speaking with workers inside the office where Wright’s businesses are registered, located in another Sydney suburb. “There’s an operation going on at the moment, I can’t answer any questions,” said one officer in response to a request for information.