US Judge Beth Bloom has denied a request by Craig Wright to scuttle a lawsuit filed against him because of his past testimony and his credibility before the court, according to a court filing from August 15.
On April 15, Wright filed a motion challenging the Southern District of Florida’s jurisdiction over an ongoing lawsuit pursued by the estate of Wright’s former business partner, the late Dave Kleiman.
Kleiman’s brother Ira alleges Wright has transferred 1.1 million bitcoin, approximately $11 billion at press time, under his control through fraudulent contracts, emails, and business relationships. The lawsuit, first filed in 2018, has resulted in back-and-forth claims between the two sides and a combative court appearance by Wright himself.
Wright has claimed in the past to have invented bitcoin through the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, a claim that has been attacked by numerous critics. Wright, in turn, has pursued legal action against such critics, though in recent days a court tossed out a suit filed against investor Roger Ver.
Wright argues that the court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the proceedings, because an entity oversight was granted on Florida-based W&K Info Defense Research, a now defunct firm, had a foreign national as “director.”
Specifically, Wright cites Uyen Nguyen, a Vietnamese national, as destroying the diversity jurisdiction of the court. Wright previously claimed not to have had contact with Nguyen since 2016.
In her motion, Judge Bloom states that Wright “failed to provide any credible evidence showing a lack of diversity.” She continued to explicate contradictory evidence Wright put forth showing Nguyen’s relationship to W&K.
Bloom provides 5 statements where Wright obfuscates the ownership structure of W&K. At varying points he said that only Kleiman owned W&K, that he and Kleiman split ownership, and that “he has ‘no idea’ who the owners… were.”
She calls Wright’s argument for dismissal “novel,” as “he seems to argue that even though his numerous conflicting statements are the very reason confusion has been created… the Court should nonetheless use these statements as a basis to challenge the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction.”
“In weighing the evidence, the Court simply does not find the Defendant’s testimony to be credible,” Bloom wrote.
Now, Bloom said, Wright insists that “three additional parties may be members of W&K,” and these persons and entities destroy jurisdiction.
After a “careful review,” Bloom found Wright’s evidence for supporting this claim that Nyugen, his ex-wife Lynn Wright, and the liquidated firm Coin-Exch were party to W&K as insufficient.
In particular she found emails, purportedly between Wright and Kleiman, as well as business registrations submitted as evidence, as “extremely speculative.”
In paragraph break, Bloom notably quotes Sir Walter Scott’s Marmion:
“Oh! What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
Further, Bloom states that that federal district courts in fact “have subject matter jurisdiction over civil actions where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00 and the suit is between citizens of different states.”
Craig Wright photo via Cryptocurrency News/Flickr