Craig Wright Assets Frozen Over Defamation Suit

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The United Kingdom High Court has issued a Worldwide Freezing Order (WFO) against Australian computer scientist and entrepreneur Craig Wright.

This action prevents Wright from moving his assets until he pays £1.548 million ($1.9 million) in legal fees to crypto podcast host Peter McCormack.

Court Freezes Wright’s Assets

The legal battle between both parties began in 2022 when the self-proclaimed founder of Bitcoin, Wright, sued McCormack for defamation. Wright claimed that McCormack defamed him in several social media posts and YouTube videos, where the podcaster alleged the computer scientist was fraudulently claiming to be Satoshi.

In an earlier judgment, a court recognized that McCormack’s statements harmed Wright’s reputation. However, Wright was awarded only £1 in nominal damages due to his dishonest conduct, including presenting false evidence.

Read more: Satoshi Nakamoto – Who is the Founder of Bitcoin?

The High Court acknowledged that ruling and noted that the Defamation case was part of Wright’s broader campaign to silence those who contended that he was not the founder of Bitcoin. According to the judge, the law would be in a “sorry and sad state” if a litigant in McCormack’s position could not recover the costs of fighting that type of litigation.

“With the benefit of hindsight, it can be seen that the Defamation Claim was part of the mendacious overall campaign by Dr Wright and his backers to establish Dr Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto and, ultimately, (cf the Tulip Trading claim) to obtain access to all or part of the large quantity of Bitcoin attributed to Satoshi, worth many billions,” Justice Mellor wrote.

Considering this, the Judge ordered Wright to pay £1.548 million ($1.9 million) to McCormack to cover his legal fees. The judge ruled that the Defamation case should never have been “threatened, commenced or pursued” because it was founded on a lie and supported by a series of forged documents.

Besides that, the Court granted a WFO against Wright. The judge highlighted his history of defaulting on payment orders and the risk of asset dissipation.

“In all the circumstances I am in no doubt that it is just and convenient to grant the WFO, not least because Mr McCormack should not, it seems to me, face a risk of the costs orders he secures going unsatisfied,” the judge concluded.

Read more: What Is Bitcoin

This lawsuit marks another pivotal win for the crypto community against Wright. Over the past years, the Australian has consistently pursued legal actions against those who assert he is not Satoshi.


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