Craig Wright faces further sanctions if the Tulip Trust is not unlocked by February 3, according to the presiding judge in his case against Dave Kleiman. Judge Beth Bloom, who is overseeing the Kleiman vs Wright case, has thrown out Wright’s lawyers’ arguments against the sanctions applied by Judge Reinhart in August, principally that Wright will hand over half the proceeds of the Tulip Trust were it ever to be opened, and said that Wright could in fact face further sanctions.
Bloom Doesn’t Buy Wright’s Discovery Process
Wright was informed in August that he would have to hand over half the BTC he and Dave Kleiman mined together in Bitcoin’s early days, but his counsel argued that, because he always knew he would likely never have access to the fund, such sanctions should not be applied. Judge Bloom has however thrown this argument out, explaining that this was the reason for the discovery process:
Discovery is meant to ensure that the parties have fair and timely access to the documents and facts needed to litigate their case. The Defendant has willfully obstructed this process.
Wright’s legal team also tried to argue that Kleiman’s estate had not “suffered any prejudice”, which Judge Bloom deals with swiftly, by stating that the argument is “entirely devoid of merit” as Wright’s delays and obstruction caused additional expenses of time and money to the plaintiffs.
Wright Faces Race Against Time
The key judgement however relates to the fate of the Tulip Trust, which Judge Reinhart famously stated that he doubted ever existed. Judge Bloom reacted to Wright’s lawyers’ demands that the bonded courier should be given the whole of January to appear and unlock the trust with an amusingly pithy response:
Given the Defendant’s many inconsistencies and misstatements, the Court questions whether it is remotely plausible that the mysterious “bonded courier” is going to arrive, yet alone that he will arrive in January 2020 as the Defendant now contends. However, given that the Defendant maintains that he should at least be afforded this opportunity, the Court will indulge him this much.
However, if Wright thinks he has got off easy, he hasn’t – Judge Bloom has given Wright until February 3 to conclusively say one way or the other whether the courier has arrived, with potential penalties if he doesn’t concur:
In the event the bonded courier does not arrive, and the Plaintiffs are not given access to this information, which the Court has already founded directly relevant to their claims, the Court finds additional sanctions would be warranted.
Tick tock, Mr Wright, Tick tock.