Satoshi Case in Florida: Is Jamie Wilson a witness or opportunist?
One character in the Kleiman v Wright Satoshi case is Jamie Wilson. He crops up in a number of places: apparently an old CFO for Dr. Craig Wright’s companies, he was deposed in 2019. The video of that deposition was played at trial, and other than entering into the record an opinion of Dr. Wright’s fashion habits, it didn’t appear to achieve all that much for purposes of resolving Kleiman v Wright.
But as Dr. Wright has said in the past, his success has made him an easy target for bullies wanting to make a quick buck. It’s only natural that his involvement in the most valuable civil trial in recent history would act as a particularly appealing bug light for opportunists. Therefore, questions and inconsistencies that pop up concerning witnesses with an axe to grind against Dr. Wright should be looked at, if only briefly, through that lens.
In the testimony of Jamie Wilson, there are plenty of inconsistencies worth looking at: has Jamie Wilson been drawn to the bug light?
Who is Jamie Wilson?
Jamie Wilson is an Australian who at one point worked for Dr. Wright in a number of capacities.
Wilson’s role in the case is largely tangential to the central question of whether there existed a business partnership between Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman. Wilson himself admits that he never interacted with Dave, and Wilson described the two as friends.
Rather, Wilson was there to testify about the brief period he and Dr. Wright worked together from around 2011 to 2013. However, even in this narrow window in which Wilson was testifying, what Wilson had to say was confusing.
According to Wilson, the two met in 2012. At the time, Wilson was in financial trouble: he’d lost substantial property in the Queensland flooding of 2010, an event which he says was the catalyst for his eventual link-up with Dr. Wright, because after the disaster he set about rebuilding his life.
As part of this rebuild, he apparently came across Dr. Wright when working with and cross-examining cybersecurity experts as part of research into potential cryptography products he might be able to make a business out of. Wilson consulted the Doctor for his expertise, and according to his deposition, would eventually convince Dr. Wright to help build what would become Wilson’s highly successful Cryptoloc technology (more on that later). He says these interactions impressed Dr. Wright enough to invite him to serve as CFO for a number of his companies.
Just what Wilson is supposed to have done for these companies isn’t obvious from the record. Though Wilson says he was CFO, he testified he had nothing to do with any of their accounts.
“What is strange is I didn’t actually handle the accounts for any of it. There was a bookkeeper that was involved.
“So, although I had the title of the CFO, my capacity as an accountant, I was not given full control, nor did I even have access to zero [sic].”
This means that Wilson spent from the 2012 until October of 2013 serving as CFO for a handful of companies despite not being given access to any of their accounts and there apparently already being a member of staff in charge of them.
This is further reflected in his reaction to being shown various emails sent by Dr. Wright to other entities—for example, the Australian Taxation Office—which have Wilson copied in. Sometimes these emails were about huge amounts of value—hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth—and yet routinely, Wilson testified to having never talked to or otherwise followed up with Dr. Wright about any of them.
Additionally, according to Wilson’s testimony, he was ‘never paid’ for his work with Dr. Wright. Shortly thereafter, he walked this back by admitting there was never any clear agreement for payment. But considering his testimony, it’s not even obvious what payment he believes he’s due and to what it would relate.
Dr. Wright helped Wilson with crypto patents
So, what was Wilson doing with Dr. Wright, Hotwire and his other companies?
One of the products of this working relationship, at least according to Wilson, was a particular patent concerning cryptographically securing data on the cloud. The patent bears both Wilson and Dr. Wright’s names as inventors, but in his deposition, Wilson seemed to try and argue that the patent was his alone:
Q: And did you develop a patent with Craig Wright?
A: I already started the process because I came up with the concept in 2010. So, the patents was already underway.
Q: When did Craig come on board with this patent?
A: Craig was only added as a name. I had to change all of the documentation.
Q: So, when you list Craig Wright and you as the inventor, is that incorrect?
A: No. Because Craig was also an advisor. Same with my lawyers and people like that.
Q: Well, would your lawyers be listed as an inventor?
A: Well, that was from the legal point. Craig being IT and that this documentation was in regard to the IT side, that is why it was listed.
This exchange all happens within a matter of minutes, and it’s highly confusing. Wilson said himself that he sought Dr. Wright out because he didn’t have any expertise in cryptography, so if anyone can be said to have invented the kind of technology to which the patent relates, it’s Dr. Wright. It’s made more confusing a short while later, when Wilson claims that Dr. Wright had signed an agreement with Wilson relinquishing all of his rights over this patent that, according to Wilson, never belonged to Dr. Wright in the first place.
This document has yet to be produced.
Dr. Wright says Jamie Wilson colluded with employees to steal intellectual property
As it turns out, the patent is highly relevant to the relationship between Dr. Wright and Jamie Wilson, because according to Dr. Wright, Wilson was fired after conspiring with his colleagues under Dr. Wright to steal and sell the intellectual property being worked on at the company. Dr. Wright not only confirmed this in his testimony this week: the allegations are contained in his years-old deposition as well as a blog post from 2019.
From Dr. Wright’s deposition:
“I know Jamie Wilson had actively doctored documents to do with patents so that he could lie and say everything was transferred into a company that he illegally transferred shares in.”
Later in the same deposition:
“Jamie Wilson was working with a person that I fired and also Jamie Wilson has fabricated a number of documents, such as power of attorney over the patent that I created.”
“Investigations of the documentation from the lawyers has turned up that some of the signatures that are on some of my documents – ‘my’ – turn out to be signed by someone else’s hand. Some of that hand in some of the early ones also happens…. To match Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson seeks to keep IP that is not his.”
Though the aforementioned patent was the specific one referenced in the depositions of Dr. Wright and Wilson, Dr. Wright indicates that the stealing of intellectual property was a broader pattern occurring among some of his employees.
In Wilson’s deposition, he simply said that he resigned—though offered conflicting reasons why:
“The reason for it is that I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the position of what was happening and not understanding everything behind the documentation and the accounts… and also at the same time my wife had medical issues as well.”
Whether the resignation was because of his discomfort with the accounts he was overseeing (yet testified he had no access to) or due to his wife’s medical issues isn’t elaborated on, because when he’s asked to explain his discomfort, he offers a different yet more in-depth reason:
“Where I didn’t feel comfortable is Craig’s change of attitude from a developer that would be in hoodies and, you know, very low key… to one that [says] this is it, I’ve got to be the man, I’ve got to be the CEO, new flash suits, ties, and it was just a massive change from where he was conservative to right out there.”
In other words, Wilson began to resent that Dr. Wright was looking like he has money.
Though he does return to his claims about the ‘documentation’ making him uncomfortable, it’s notable that when he was asked to elaborate on his discomfort, his first thought isn’t documentation or accounts at all—it’s a strangely specific and personal character critique of Dr. Wright’s demeanor, particularly the severity of what Wilson eventually implies about Dr. Wright. Why, in a case where Dr. Wright is accused of fraud, would Dr. Wright’s fashion sense even be a topic of discussion, let alone the first?
Meeting Dr. Wright was the best thing to happen to Jamie Wilson
Wilson clearly has no warm feelings left for Dr. Wright. According to the deposition played to the jury, Wilson was so enthused to hear somebody was suing Dr. Wright that he reached out to Ira Kleiman’s legal team to congratulate them.
Why the animosity if, as Wilson says, his exit from his position with Dr. Wright was a quiet one? After all, Wilson seems to have done well for himself since meeting Dr. Wright, a meeting which seems to have entirely turned around Wilson’s financial fortunes following the destruction of the Queensland floods.
His luck has turned around so much since meeting Dr. Wright that just last year, his company was named as one of Forbes’ Cybersecurity Tech Start-ups to Watch for 2020. That company is Cryptoloc, a cryptographic security company whose claim to fame is a patented three-key cryptographic solution—the patent which to this day bears Dr. Wright’s name.
Interestingly, Jamie Wilson’s timeline for developing Cryptoloc and then getting involved with Dr. Wright fell apart instantly under cross-examination at his deposition. He initially said that he met Dr. Wright in 2012, when they worked on the Cryptoloc patent together, and then only began his involvement with Dr. Wright’s companies in 2014. Eventually, Wilson admitted that his resignation from these companies occurred no later than October 2013. That’s quite the departure from claiming that his involvement with Dr. Wright’s companies began and ended in 2014.
Could Wilson have been trying to put as much distance between the Cryptoloc patent and his official tenure working for Dr. Wright’s companies, which are established as being in control of colossal amounts of Bitcoin-related intellectual property at various times?
Of course, we now know that Wilson’s exit from Dr. Wright’s sphere was anything but quiet and harmonious. Given Cryptoloc’s runaway patent success and Dr. Wright’s longstanding accusations of employee fraud against Wilson, his eagerness to see Dr. Wright put to the sword in the Kleiman lawsuit seems highly notable, don’t you think?
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