In December 2021, a Miami jury awarded $100 million to W&K Info Defense Research as a jury verdict in the Kleiman v. Wright case in Florida. And now a whole charge of interest has been applied to the verdict.
This important case in the history of blockchain technology concerns an issue between the deceased forensic expert David Kleiman and Dr. Craig Wright, the Australian entrepreneur who claims to have invented Bitcoin. W&K Info Defense Research is a company founded by Dr. Wright and the late computer forensics expert Dave Kleiman. Dr. Wright’s ex-wife Lynn appears to be the majority shareholder of the company after the shares were transferred to his name following his divorce from Wright in 2013. David Kleiman’s brother, Ira Kleiman re-established W&K Info Defense Research LLC as a corporation in 2018.
Ira Kleiman for follow-up Wright in 2018 about Dr. Wright’s alleged scheme to steal 1.1 million Bitcoins (worth around $43 billion today) and intellectual property related to the partnership’s Bitcoin software. After a three-week trial and a week of deliberations, the jury awarded W&K $100 million for its conversion claim.
According to the judge, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom granted W&K’s prejudgment interest claim dating back to 2013, when the jury found Wright committed the conversion.
This week, the Amended Final Judgment states that “pursuant to the Court’s order, ECF No. prejudgment interest will be awarded in the amount of $43,132,492.48 pursuant to Florida Statute § 55.03. »
“We are delighted that Judge Bloom has awarded our client over $43 million in prejudgment interest in addition to the jury’s verdict of $100 million,” write Vel Freedman, Kyle Roche, Stephen Lagos, Andrew Brenner, Stephen Zack and Maxwell Pritt, attorney for W&K. Info Defense Research.
“This final judgment, like the verdict that led to it, sets historic precedent in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Our firms, Roche Freedman and Boies Schiller Flexner, are honored to have represented plaintiffs, protected Kleiman’s legacy and ensured that his family received the benefits of his labor that paved the way for this innovative and transformative industry.”
Dr. Wright’s legal team did not oppose the request for interest. Florida Statute; 55.03 states that interest “runs on the judgment until paid”. According to the judgment, “postjudgment interest shall accrue on this judgment pursuant to 28 USC § 1961” with postjudgment interest rates regulated according to 28 USC 1961. Dr. Wright’s legal team disputed the date on which interest would begin to accrue.
The jury verdict declared that Dr. Wright is liable to W&K Info Defense Research LLC. No compensatory damages were awarded to the estate of David Kleiman and $100 million was awarded to W&K Info Defense Research LLC.
Andres Rivero of Rivero Mestre LLP, lead counsel, acting for Dr Wright, said: “Even with interest, the award is only a fraction of the amount the plaintiffs claimed and argued in front of the jury ($200 billion). multiplied by 3, or a total of $600 billion). The result remains a disappointing outcome for Kleiman, who had hoped to strike it rich.”
So when will Dr. Wright actually have to pay the $143 million to W&K? Rivero said: “The plaintiffs have said they will appeal, and Dr Wright will defend and consider a cross-appeal.
In addition, two lawsuits are pending in state court in Palm Beach County to determine ownership and control of W&K. In fact, the lion’s share of W&K does not belong to Ira Kleiman, nor will he be the primary beneficiary of any money received by an entity he does not own or control.”