Craig Wright Taken to Task Over Opposing Partnership Claims

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • Craig Wright was questioned by the attorney for the Kleiman estate over the pair’s supposed partnership
  • Wright was presented with evidence that he has at various times claimed there was and wasn’t a partnership
  • Wright tried to claim that an Australian Tax Office meeting never took place

Craig Wright was yesterday accused of changing his story regarding his partnership with Dave Kleiman to suit his needs by the lawyer for the Kleiman estate. Wright took the stand on day six of the blockbuster trial, with the Kleiman counsel Vel Freedman quizzing Wright on the raft of contradictory statements he has made over the years regarding the level of involvement with Dave Kleiman in the company W&K Information Defense. The partnership between the pair is central to the outcome of the trial and so great weight was paid to Wright’s comments, and in particular how he explained his contradictory statements over the years.

W&K Ownership Central to Kleiman Case

Freedman showed Wright times when he had, in writing, claimed that W&K was a 50/50 partnership and other times when, also in writing, he had said that he was never involved in a partnership. These included a declaration Wright made in 2018 to the court stating that he had “never been a director, member, shareholder, officer, employee or representative of W&K or of any Florida business”, something that was picked up by the judge when contradictory evidence came to light.

Part of this contradictory evidence was a sworn affidavit filed in an Australian court stating that he and Dave Kleiman each owned 50% of W&K. As part of his defense, Wright tried to dispute an unfavorable Australian Tax Office (ATO) report by saying that the interview never took place, which is an interesting way of trying to climb out of a hole you’ve dug yourself in.

Wright Contradicted Himself to Suit His Needs

The reason why Wright changed his story needs no great explanation. In 2013, shortly after the death of Dave Kleiman, Wright sued W&K for tens of millions of dollars on the back of unrepaid bitcoin loans (which the ATO said never existed) and unpaid work. Wright accepted intellectual property in lieu of the money and, acting as his own plaintiff and defendant in one instance, awarded the IP to himself, IP he then used to try and claim a $54 million tax rebate after selling it to his various companies.

In this case it was important that Wright made the court aware that W&K was a partnership, whereas in other situations, such as the case currently ongoing, it is important that he frames the relationship in a manner that suggests there was no such partnership. The other reason this matters so much is because Wright claims that W&K mined several hundreds of thousands of bitcoin, a claim that has never been backed up with any evidence – at least not evidence that hasn’t been doctored in some way.

It is on this basis that Ira Kleiman is suing Craig Wright, claiming that the Kleiman estate is owed the monetary value of half the bitcoin and the value of the intellectual property. The reason monetary value is being sought is because the existence of the bitcoin haul is only backed up by documentation that the Kleiman vs Wright case has already established is fraudulent.