The founders of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, Winklevoss twins, have made the headlines again, this time by suing Charlie Shrem, a cryptocurrency pioneer. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, famously known as the “first bitcoin billionaires” have reportedly filed a lawsuit against Charlie Shrem, allegedly for stealing bitcoin.
Charlie Shrem, the founder of Bitinstant, has previously served his time in federal prison for consciously selling bitcoins to those who claimed to buy drugs in exchange. The act performed on dark web platform called the Silk Road, which is no more in function.
Shrem claimed that he had no money whatsoever when he went to prison after charging guilty of the criminal activities including bitcoin exchange and drugs. However, since his return, he had lived well effortlessly for a person who said that he was almost broke when he went to jail. Since his release, he has garnered millions of dollars through investments and property.
The lawsuit reports first released by New York Times which said that Shrem and Winklevoss twins were former business partners. However, the twins recently filed a complaint against Shrem over the suspicion of stealing 5,000 bitcoins from them in 2012.
According to their claims, the now stolen bitcoins are worth more than $31 million as per recent market prices. The coins were worth a lot more back in December 2017 which would have brought its value to $100 million back then.
The official lawsuit filing report read, “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 New York Times report says that Shrem owes $950,000 to the government for restitution stemming from his plea agreement settled in 2014. The deal took the judge to oversee the trail which demanded to freeze of some of his financial assets.
However, now that the twins suspect that the stolen bitcoin must be the factor that is boasting his lifestyle and financial records, the U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff granted their request to unfreeze any of the funds. Reportedly Shrem had held his funds in exchanges such as Coinbase and Xapo, which according to the twins’ private investigator, believes is where he must be channeling his stolen bitcoin.
Shrem’s lawyer, Brian Klein claims that the allegations are false and cannot be further away from the truth. He says, “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 defend himself vigorously and quickly clear his name.”