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Bitcoin SV: Court orders Craig Wright to pay $160,000 in legal expenses

  • The Southern District Court of Florida ruled that Bitcoin’s self-proclaimed inventor, Craig Wright, has to pay $160,000 in legal fees to Ira Kleiman. 
  • Kleiman asked for $658,000, but the Court determined that unjustified extra hours and fees were added. 

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida favored Ira Kleiman in the case against Craig Wright, the brother of his deceased partner Dave Kleiman. Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled that the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor has to pay Kleiman’s legal fees. The court determined that the legal fees amount to $160,000.

Ira Kleiman’s lawyers filed an original claim of $658,000, but the court only recognized part of this claim. The court used the “Lodestar” method to calculate which fees and services were valid. Based on this method, the judge found that part of Kleiman’s legal fees were excessive.

The court only approved  the amount of $160,000. Of this amount, $113,000 had been granted for attorney’s fees and $52,000 for other expenses. Bitcoin SV promoter Craig Wight has to make the payment by March 30, 2020. Thus, this decision becomes the second unfavorable one for Wright during March.

A few days ago, the court also ordered Wright to produce the documents related to the Tulip Trust. According to the ruling, Wright had until March 12 to submit these documents. Previously, Wright refused to produce them under the attorney/client privilege. The court, however, dismissed this argument.

Tulip trust documents and case still in limbo

The Tulip Trust is supposed to contain about one million Bitcoins that Wright and Kleiman allegedly mined when the cryptocurrency was created. These Bitcoins are attributed to the inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. However, Wright has only prolonged the case without definitively proving that the Tulip Trust exists and if he is indeed the inventor of Bitcoin. Most of his alleged evidence were forged documents and statements that the judge has dismissed as false.

The case has been controversial and has sparked a great deal of debate between Wright’s supporters and the crypto community. In addition, the case has involved developers, companies like Blockstream, and even the Bitcoin Core team. Wright accused them of being part of a scam to forge documents related to the case.

It remains to be seen what Wright’s actions will be in the face of the latest court decision. It is not yet known whether Wright was able to produce the documents demanded by the court. However, due to the global emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19, on March 11 the court allowed Wright to make further statements via video call.

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About Author

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Reynaldo Marquez has closely followed the growth of Bitcoin and blockchain technology since 2016. He has since worked as a columnist on crypto coins covering advances, falls and rises in the market, bifurcations and developments. He believes that crypto coins and blockchain technology will have a great positive impact on people's lives.

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