When it comes to headline-making lawsuits, few trump Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
In their latest legal proceeding, the twins allege Charlie Schrem, the early bitcoin (BTC) entrepreneur, owes them for thousands of bitcoin worth about $32 million, according to The New York Times. Schrem’s attorney told the Times the charge was baseless.
The Winklevoss suit centers around some 5,000 unaccounted-for bitcoin, which Schrem purchased in 2012 on the brothers’ behalf. The brothers said in the suit they have inquired about the missing cryptocurrency numerous times.
A separate squabble over the brothers’ investment in Bitinstant, the company Schrem founded, may have derailed their concerns about the bitcoin. But a recent spending spree by Schrem, including the purchase of two Maserati sports cars, alarmed the twins.
“Either Shrem has been incredibly lucky and successful since leaving prison [in 2016], 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” from the brothers, the lawsuit says, according to the Times.
Schrem was a founding board member of the Bitcoin Foundation and one of the cryptocurrency’s most prominent and early advocates. Bitinstant enabled consumers to pay fiat currencies into and between cryptocurrency exchanges.
In 2014, Schrem pleaded guilty for his role in converting dollars into bitcoin to purchase drugs on the Silk Road online marketplace. Schrem has also participated in a number of other what the Times called “troubled projects.”
The Winklevoss twins are perhaps best known for accepting a $20 million settlement after accusing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing the idea of the company from them. Since then they have used their wealth for a number of things, including starting Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange and issuer of the Gemini Dollar (GUSD) stablecoin; filing cryptocurrency-related patents and backing a crypto industry-focused self-regulatory group.