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High Court action freezes £1.5 million of Craig Wright’s assets amid defamation fallout

High Court action freezes £1.5 million of Craig Wright's assets amid defamation fallout

The UK High Court has granted Peter McCormack a Worldwide Freezing Order (WFO) against Craig Wright. This decision, handed down by Mr. Justice Mellor, follows a series of legal battles between the two parties, primarily revolving around Wright’s defamation claim against McCormack.

The WFO granted to McCormack is intended to prevent Wright from dissipating his assets to avoid paying the substantial legal costs McCormack incurred while defending against the defamation claim. The order covers a sum of £1.548 million, which includes costs already awarded to McCormack and additional expenses related to Wright’s fraudulent conduct during the defamation proceedings.

The defamation claim stemmed from McCormack’s social media posts and a YouTube video in which he accused Wright of fraudulently claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. In a previous judgment, the court found that Wright had presented deliberately false evidence and awarded him only nominal damages of £1 while acknowledging that McCormack’s statements had caused serious harm to Wright’s reputation. The judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal, which cited Wright’s dishonest conduct during the litigation as a critical factor in its decision to award minimal damages.

Justice Mellor’s decision to grant the WFO was influenced by several factors, including Wright’s history of defaulting on payment orders and the risk of asset dissipation. The court noted that Wright had previously transferred shares in his company to an offshore entity shortly after a judgment against him, raising concerns about his intentions to evade financial liabilities.

This WFO is part of a broader pattern of legal actions involving Wright, who has been involved in multiple lawsuits asserting his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto. In another recent case, the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) successfully won its case against Wright after the court found overwhelming evidence that he is not the creator of Bitcoin and had forged documents to support his claim.

The High Court’s judgment highlights Wright’s fraudulent conduct’s serious implications and the legal mechanisms available to protect parties from the risk of asset dissipation in such cases.

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