“Francis has been less than candid with his ever-changing stories,” Ms deSouza’s lawyers claimed in a filing.
No secret hiding place ever materialized. A spokeswoman for Mr. deSouza said he disclosed his entire cryptocurrency holdings at the start of the divorce. “As soon as Francis knew Bitcoin was caught up in the Mt. Gox bankruptcy, he told his ex-wife,” the spokeswoman said. “If the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox had not occurred, the BTC split would have been completely uncontroversial.”
Ms deSouza declined to comment through her lawyer.
But the appeals court found that Mr deSouza, 51, who is now the chief executive of biotech company Illumina, breached the rules of the divorce proceedings by failing to keep his wife fully informed of his investments in cryptocurrency.
He was ordered to give Ms. deSouza about half of the total number of Bitcoins he owned before Mt. Gox went bankrupt, leaving her with 57 Bitcoins, worth about $2.5 million to the prices today. Ms. deSouza’s bitcoins are now worth more than $23 million.
Not all crypto divorces involve such large sums. A few years ago, Nick Himonidis, a forensic investigator in New York, worked on a divorce case in which a wife accused her husband of underreporting his cryptocurrency holdings. With the court’s permission, Mr. Himonidis went to the husband’s home and searched his laptop. He found a digital wallet containing around $700,000 of the Monero cryptocurrency.
“He was like, ‘Oh, that wallet? I didn’t even think I had that,” recalls Mr. Himonidis. “I was like, ‘Seriously, man?'”
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In another case, Mr. Himonidis said, he discovered that a husband had withdrawn $2 million in cryptocurrency from his account on the Coinbase exchange, a platform where people buy, sell and store cryptocurrency. digital currencies. A week after his wife filed for divorce, the man transferred the funds to digital wallets and then left the United States.