Craig Wright Hit With $7.5 Million Worldwide Freeze Order

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  • Craig Wright has been handed a $7.5 million global freeze order after losing a High Court battle to COPA
  • COPA raised concerns after Wright transferred $17 million in shares offshore
  • Wright risks imprisonment if the judge rules he misled the court

Satoshi Nakamoto pretender Craig Wright has been hit with a $7.5 million worldwide freeze order following his recent High Court loss to the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA). The defeat, in which Justice Mellor declared that Wright’s decade-long campaign to try and claim the sobriquet Satoshi Nakamoto was officially over, left Wright facing huge legal costs, and his prior claims to have been “judgment proof” based on his alleged hiding of assets have rung enough alarm bells with the judge to approve COPA’s claim for an asset freeze. Wright owes hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement and legal costs across his various cases and may well face prison if Justice Mellor’s hints in his ruling are anything to go by.

Wright Backdated Share Transfer

Wright lost to COPA earlier this month when Justice Mellor ruled from the bench that Wright had nothing to do with the creation of Bitcoin, with a written ruling to come later this year. However, just four days after the verdict, Wright informed the UK’s corporate overseers, Companies House, that he had transferred £10 million ($17 million) worth of shares in a company he established in October 2023, RCJBR Holding Plc, to DeMorgan PTE, a company formed under the laws of Singapore.

RCJBR was established just days after Wright’s ignominious exit from nChain and around a week after his financial backer, Calvin Ayre, had informed the team backing Wright that he was, as of that point, “able to fund himself.” The face value of the shares was £20 million ($25 million), with the shares split equally between himself and his wife, Ramona Watts.

Wright’s $17 million transfer was filed on 18 March, leading many to suspect he was trying to shield his wealth to avoid having to pay the costs that have racked up across his court cases worldwide. However, Wright appears to have attempted to backdate the filing, claiming it took place on February 5, the very day the trial began.

COPA Pressed for Freeze Order

COPA raised its concerns with the court, seeking a worldwide freezing order to prevent Wright from selling or moving any more assets, which Justice Mellor granted, pending an appeal. Wright’s convoluted approach to protecting his assets, which includes companies and trusts in financial black holes such as Antigua and Seychelles, means that getting a clear picture of his finances is particularly difficult.

Wright is already facing a contempt of court charge in the US over his refusal to properly fill out an asset declaration form following the adverse ruling in the Kleiman vs. Wright case, where he owes over $143 million, and he now has to fill out another one; Wright has two weeks to tell the UK courts of the breakdown of his assets.

Problems Build for Wright

As well as owing $143 million to W&K Info Defense and $7.5 million to COPA, Wright is also on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs for his cases against Hodlonaut and Peter McCormack, both of which he lost.

Things could get worse for Wright, however, with Justice Mellor noting the following in his freeze order ruling:

I have already indicated that the evidence was overwhelming. As COPA submit, that necessarily means (as I shall explain in my Trial judgment) that Dr Wright has forged documents on a grand scale and, during his cross-examination, he lied extensively and repeatedly.

Given that COPA has asked the judge to refer Wright to the Director of Public Prosecutions over his conduct, Wright may well face a criminal trial over the fraud he allegedly perpetrated on the court as well as his massive legal bills.