Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss who are renowned as the first bitcoin billionaires have reportedly filed a lawsuit against Charlie Shrem, crypto pioneer. The Winklevoss twins also founded Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange.
Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD
The 28-year-old Bitinstant founder, Shrem had served time in a federal prison for purposely selling bitcoins to individuals who said they wanted to purchase drugs. He did this on a now-defunct marketplace on the dark web called Silk Road. He claimed that he was sent to prison with no money.
He has been released for two years now and has led an affluent lifestyle acquiring property running into millions of dollars. He also owns multiple Maserati as well as powerboats.
New York Times lead, Nathaniel Popper who was a former business partner of Shrem reports that the Winklevoss Twins have sued Shrem. The billionaires alleged that he stole 5,000 bitcoins in 2012, from them and the coins are worth over $31 million. They were valued at close to $100 million at the Dec. 2017 peak
The allegations against Shrem
An excerpted part of the filing reads,
“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 reports also reveal that Shrem may owe $950,000 to the government in restitution which stems from the plea agreement he had in 2014. The judge who presided over the trial has agreed to freeze some of the financial assets of Shrem. Also, Jed S. Rakoof, US District Court judge has granted the Winklevoss twins’ request to freeze bitcoin funs held by Shrem in Coinbase and Xapo. The private investigator of the twins believed that he sent the missing BTC to those platforms.
Brian Klein, Shrem’s lawyer, responded to the allegations of the Winklevoss brothers and said the claims were not true. He also stated that his client would clear his name in court.
“The lawsuit erroneously alleges that about six years ago Charlie essentially misappropriated thousands of Bitcoins… Nothing could be further from the truth. Charlie plans to vigorously defend himself and quickly clear his name.”