A legal representative for the founder of Bitcoin Foundation Charlie Shrem has refuted claims that Shrem stole 5000 BTC (now about $31.7 million) from the Winklevoss twins in 2012.
According to a report by the New York Times on November 2, the lawsuit was unsealed yesterday Thursday, November 1. Notably, Shrem had worked under Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss on a previous project before serving 12 months in prison for allegedly involving in drug purchase with Bitcoin (BTC). The Winklevoss twins said the matter goes back to 2012. According to the New York Times report, the lawsuit claims that;
“Either Shrem has been incredibly lucky and successful since leaving prison, or — more likely — he ‘acquired’ his six properties, two Maseratis, two powerboats and other holdings with the appreciated value of the 5,000 Bitcoin he stole.”
The judge in charge of the complaint, who happens to be the same involved in Shrem’s previous bitcoin drug purchase case, agreed to freeze some of Shrem’s assets, as previously requested in September. The Judge also considered another claim that alleged owed $950,000 restitution in 2014 when he pleaded guilty of the offense.
The issue also goes back to the alleged funds that Shrem refused to repay the Winklevoss twins as part of their investment in his project BitInstant.
Shrem reportedly remitted only $189,000 in Bitcoin to Tyler and Cameron instead of the agreed payment of $250,000. As at the time, Bitcoin traded for just $12.50.
Dispute Over Management
Due to several disagreements over management, the partners had a falling out which led them to sever contact with each other. Before the Winklevoss twins came on board, Shrem had pleaded guilty to operations relating to BitInstant
According to reports, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss decided to hire a private investigator to track the missing 5000 BTC funds. This investigation has led to the current lawsuit and the decision to freeze Shrem’s asset.
As it stands, Shrem is yet to give a response to the fresh legal challenge officially. However, a lawyer representing him has resolved to criticize the content of the lawsuit. He said: “The lawsuit erroneously alleges that about six years ago Charlie essentially misappropriated thousands of Bitcoins.” He added;
“Nothing could be further from the truth. Charlie plans to vigorously defend himself and quickly clear his name.”