In a surprising turn of events for many, a Winklevoss suit against former Bitinstant CEO Charlie Shrem which started in early-November 2018 has seen the court favoring the defendant. Shrem’s assets have since then been unfrozen, after the hearing sided with the Shrem.
For those unaware, the suit was brought forward by the plaintiffs due to some recent purchases Shrem had made. Over $4 million was bought in the form of sports cars, boats, as well as plots of land, including a $2,000,000 house.
The purchases alone were not the main reason but rather stemmed from an unresolved conflict that goes back to 2012. The Twins claimed Shrem took a portion of the money invested into the now-defunct Bitinstant Exchange and purchased bitcoin for his profit.
The missing 5000 bitcoin, which the plaintiffs suspect Shrem is now cashing in on through these extravagant purchases, is the root cause of the legal dilemma.
However, the defendant claims to have never owned the bitcoin, instead citing another prominent member of the industry for ownership that remains unnamed. Shrem had been sustaining himself off an agreed monthly stipend of $50,000 for living expenses since he emerged out of prison in 2016 due to his associations with the Silk Road.
Attorney Tyler Meade, representing the twins, in this case, hasn’t been able to find anything that goes against Shrem’s claims. Contact to 30 institutions had been made, and Meade was only able to identify $10 in assets.
Regardless, Meade still argues that the freeze over the Bistinstant CEO’s assets should continue, citing the recent purchases worth millions as well as over $10 million in real estate holdings. Meade told Bloomberg:
“We do not have to show that he is actually hiding assets, although we believe he owns 5,000 Bitcoins are valued at more than $32 million today.”
The lawyer representing Shrem in this case, Brian Klein, claims that the defendant’s assets lie heavily in real estate, with his cryptocurrency portfolio having shrunk since his assets were put into question.
Klein continues to say that this legal battle is instead a dispute over $61,000 that Shrem has been prepared to put in escrow if the defendant loses this case. However, this first step was a positive one for Shrem’s “complete vindication.”
The story seems not to be finished yet, with a trial scheduled later next year, on June 17th.