New legal filings in the Kleiman vs Wright bitcoin trial have requested International Judicial Assistance with the Queen’s Bench Division in London to question Craig Wright’s wife and two other UK residents.
The Florida court hearing the $10 billion lawsuit against Wright – who claims to be bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto – made the request to the UK court on July 24 on behalf of Ira Kleiman, the brother of Wright’s deceased partner Dave Kleiman, who alleges Wright stole 1.1 million bitcoin from his brother.
The Kleiman estate is claiming at least 300,000 bitcoin along with any forked assets. Wright denies any wrongdoing, but failed in June to provide documents requested by the court showing his bitcoin holdings prior to December 31, 2013. Wright claims that he and Dave Kleiman had co-operated in mutual trust.
Three Witnesses Requested
In the latest filing to the court, the counsel for the Kleiman estate said they wanted to question three individuals:
- Ramona Watts – the wife of Craig Wright
- Andrew O’Hagan – author of the book The Satoshi Affair
- Robert MacGregor – a business associate of Craig Wright
The estate’s lawyers said Ramona Watts’ was relevant to their case because she was the defendant’s wife and was identified in his initial disclosures as “an individual with knowledge of the facts underlying the plaintiffs’ [Kleiman estate] claims”.
The document continues:
Ms Watts worked with the defendant and has been involved in his companies since 2011, [and] before they were married he discussed Kleiman with her, she learned he created bitcoin, gave her detailed accounts of what he’d done to create bitcoin and ‘talked to [Ms Watts] about everything, including my past before we got married’.
O’Hagan was noted as a witness of interest because he recounted in his book a detailed story involving “Wright, his claim to created bicoin, and his relationship with Kleiman”.
The document adds that during the six-month process of interviewing Wright for his book, he:
Recorded ‘many hours of tape’ of his ‘many dozens of hours of conversations with Wright’ where they discudded information relevant to the lawsuit.
Finally, Robert MacGregor’s was named in the document as Wright’s business associate. It asserts:
Mr MacGregor was privy to details surrounding bitcoin’s creation, the alleged Satoshi Nakamoto partnership, and the trusts at the heart of the dispute in this case.
Indeed, at the heart of the case are the so-called Tulip Trusts, two funds that were the destination of the bulk of bitcoins stockpiled by Wright and Dave Kleiman between 2009 and 2013.
Seven trustees, of which Wright and Kleiman were two, each held encrypted keys, and according to a document that emerged in December 2015, the Tulip Trusts were “managed by at least three people but not more than seven at any time”.
Wright has said that he doesn’t have access to all the requisite keys to access the funds, but that the entire 1.1 million bitcoins – valued at more than $10 billion at current prices – “will be returned” to him on January 1, 2020.
Wright’s next appearance in the Florida court is on August 7.