Craig Wright has sensationally backed out of settlement discussions with the estate of David Kleiman, citing a lack of funds for his inability to do so. The shock announcement came as part of a filing from Kleiman’s team to depose James Wilson, the Chief Financial Officer of Wright’s companies, who has arrived in the US and will give testimony on Friday. Wright was ordered to hand over half a million BTC worth $4.6 billion after losing his case against Kleiman in August, but his decision to renege on settlement discussions puts him in a legally perilous position.
Wright Can “No Longer Finance” Settlement
In the filing, Kleiman’s team state that by September the parties had begun to engage in “what Plaintiffs, at the time, believed to have been good faith settlement discussions” to come to a financial settlement in the case, at Wright’s request. However, on October 30, “without any advance notice, Plaintiffs were informed Craig could no longer finance the settlement and was “breaking” the non-binding settlement agreement.” This has meant a repositioning of both legal teams back towards a trial footing, with Kleiman’s team reaching out to James the following day. This comes after Wright asked for delays totaling two months to get his financial affairs in order, before the man who recently boasted that he was richer than the country of Rwanda told Kleiman’s team he could no longer afford to settle.
Wright Staring Down the Barrel
The ramifications for Wright could be bigger than he realizes. Blockchain and virtual currency attorney Stephen Palley took to Twitter to explain what might happen to Wright now:
What’s going to happen to Craig Wright now — having apparently broken an agreement to settle in principle, after stringing the other side & Court along for 2 months — is that he’ll end up with a massive judgment against him & will lose every single motion in the case. pic.twitter.com/VsqKYkWP9T
— Palley (@stephendpalley) November 3, 2019
In short, it doesn’t look good for Wright. The man who was called “belligerent and evasive” by the ruling judge back in August will now attract the judges’ ire for his behavior since the ruling, with Palley saying that the situation “isn’t going to end well” for Wright, who, if it goes that far, will get “destroyed” at trial. There is a note of caution for Kleiman’s estate however, with Palley cautioning that getting a billion-dollar judgement against a plaintiff who genuinely has no money is next to worthless. Wright claims that the best chance he has of getting his hands on the money is if someone arrives with the keys to the supposed Tulip Trust wallet in January as he has said may happen, but the case could be in a very different place by then.