Craig Wright’s assets frozen because judge doesn’t know where he is

On July 4, the UK High Court of Justice issued a worldwide freezing order worth $1.9 million against Craig Wright in favor of podcaster Peter McCormack. McCormack won his defamation lawsuit with Wright on January 25 and has been trying to recover his substantial legal fees from the Australian businessman.

The lawsuit began in April 2019 when McCormack tweeted about Wright, the falsely self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin. “Craig Wright is not Satoshi,” McCormack wrote. He continued, “Craig Wright is a fraud… he is a liar and a fraud… and he’s a moron; he is not Satoshi.”

Wright sued him, but McCormack ultimately prevailed. According to the world’s most powerful copyright court, Wright did lie about writing Bitcoin’s whitepaper and fraudulently submitted doctored evidence to support his false claim.

Read more: Court to sentence Craig Wright for lying about being Satoshi

An extraordinary remedy for extraordinary misbehavior

Usually, courts simply issue a judgment to order the losing party to make a payment. A freezing order is reserved for extraordinary situations, instructing banks and financial institutions to prohibit Wright from transferring assets before making his payments.

One of the reasons cited by the judge for the extraordinary order is that Wright’s physical whereabouts are currently unknown. He apparently left one of his residences in Wimbledon several weeks ago, and the judge has “not been given any further information as to his whereabouts or whether he has left the UK for good.”

Another reason for the freeze is that Wright has repeatedly avoided disclosing his assets to the court. According to Justice Mellor, “The evidence of assets available to meet various cost orders remains extremely shadowy.” As a consequence of his obstinate opacity, Wright’s financial institutions must shut off his access to funds until he makes his court-ordered payment of £1.548 million.

Legal fees for McCormack are just one of Wright’s many problems

Wright also has various other legal troubles since losing his lawsuit against the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) which is funded by Coinbase, MicroStrategy, and Block. This resulted in a final and unappealable ruling that Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto. Worst of all, COPA is trying to escalate the civil ruling to a criminal proceeding.

Since losing, Wright has dodged the media and various court requests, which resulted in this week’s $1.9 million freezing order.

Protos reached out to McCormack for comment but by press time had not received a response.

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