Craig Wright Accused of Abusing Attorney-Client Privilege in Trial
Craig Wright, the self-professed creator of Bitcoin (BTC), has been accused of abusing attorney-client privilege in order to block documents from being used as evidence in the ongoing trial against him.
Australian computer scientist and businessman Craig Wright is being sued by the family of his deceased business partner Dave Kleiman for US$10 billion in Bitcoin, said to be encrypted in a “Tulip Trust.” In a court document filed on Sunday in Southern District Court of Florida, the legal team representing Ira Kleiman, brother of the deceased, challenged Wright’s “illusory” assertion that over 11,000 company documents are inadmissible in court due to coming under attorney-client privilege.
“Craig [Wright] has improperly withheld documents as privileged,” stated the prosecution, arguing that he has attempted to obfuscate the trial by using the fact that the documents come from 18 companies, most of them defunct, to “hide” the documents from the court. “[A]lmost all of the companies Defendant is using as a tool to assert ‘privileges,’ no longer exist … any privilege these companies may have once had, does not survive their dissolution,” added Kleiman’s legal team.
The filing continues to say that of the three remaining firms, Wright’s privilege claim is inadmissible due to the fact that he is not in the “control group” and therefore, cannot claim attorney-client privilege. He is also accused of purposefully orchestrating not being on leadership teams at the firms so as to be able to claim privilege “when it suits him.”
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The case against Craig Wright has been littered with controversy throughout the entirety of proceedings. Last August, Judge Bruce E. Reinhart ruled in favor of the Kleiman estate, admonishing Wright at the time for engaging in a “willful and bad faith pattern of obstructive behavior,” which included filing a false declaration, knowingly producing a fraudulent trust document, and giving perjurious testimony.
Wright initially agreed to a settlement to hand over half of the Tulip Trust Bitcoin, he withdrew from that agreement in November.
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