A US court has ordered self-professed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright to pay legal costs totaling $165,500 in connection with a billion-dollar lawsuit that has dragged on for two years. The judge removed some of the costs but still left Wright with a sizable bill, according to court documents.
The lawsuit against Wright was first launched in February 2018. Wright is being sued by the estate of Dave Kleiman, Wright's former business partner, for allegedly defrauding the Kleiman family of their rightful claim to 1.1 million Bitcoin, worth $5.5 billion, following Dave Kleiman’s death in April 2013.
It’s an interesting order — I mean that is a pile of moolah, but the court whacked the rates and hours down quite a bit.
— Palley (@stephendpalley) March 17, 2020
The legal fees Wright was ordered to pay today were incurred during the litigation of two motions regarding the production of documents on Wright's alleged Bitcoin holdings. The Kleiman estate's lawyers originally asked for a total of $658,581.78, mostly for wages, with some expenses included. The judge found that the lawyers were charging excessive rates and had billed for hours without specifying what they were working on—striking these expenses.
The court case, which has drawn considerable attention from the cryptocurrency industry, took an unexpected turn earlier this year when it initially appeared that Wright had claimed to gain the keys to access his massive Bitcoin stash—which he says is locked up in a blind trust. However, Wright's lawyer later confirmed to Decrypt that Wright had not received the keys, just a list of Bitcoin addresses.
But, considering the latest action from the court, he could have done with that Bitcoin turning up.