The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled in favor of self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright in his legal dispute with Ira Kleiman over rights to bitcoin (BTC) worth billions of dollars.
According to an official document, the Appeal Court ruled that the district court’s verdict would stand as there is no proof it relied on an erroneous legal standard and that there would be no new trial for the case.
Wright’s Bitcoin Ownership Dispute
In 2018, Kleiman sued Wright, seeking ownership of 50% of 1.1 million BTC mined in the early days of the cryptocurrency. Kleiman claimed his deceased brother, Dave Kleiman, was in a partnership with Wright when the bitcoins were produced and deserved access to some of the assets.
Within three years after the lawsuit was filed, Wright denied being business partners with Dave before he died in 2013. He insisted they had been just friends, and the deceased helped him edit the Bitcoin whitepaper, rebuffing the plaintiff’s claims over the mined assets.
In 2021, a Florida court ruled that the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto would pay $100 million in compensation to W&K Info Defense Research for stealing the company from Kleiman. The jury also decided that Wright and Kleiman were not business partners and that the damages would be paid in fiat, not BTC.
Court Denies Appeal
Following the jury’s verdict on the non-existence of the partnership, Kleiman appealed the case, arguing that the ruling should not stand for several reasons, including that the court applied the wrong legal standard and abused its discretion in its decision. The plaintiffs insisted that the court also abused its discretion by denying a new trial based on the defendant’s violations of an order prohibiting evidence of the sibling relationship between Dave and Ira.
However, the Court of Appeals has stated that it considered each argument but did not find any reason to change the jury’s verdict.
“As to that ruling, the district court did not abuse its discretion by vacating sanctions that the magistrate judge imposed that would have deemed as true essential factual elements of the Estate’s partnership claims. The Estate has not shown that the court relied on an erroneous legal standard or made a clear error of judgment,“ the court stated.