private settlement has been agreed upon by the Winklevoss twins (Cameron and Tyler) and Charlie Shrem. The Winklevoss lawsuit, against Charlie Shrem for allegedly taking more than $60 thousand to buy 5,000 bitcoins in 2012.
On April 5 in a court ruling, Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the case, explaining that the parties had informed the court they had reached a settlement.
Shrem, was on the earlier adopters of bitcoin and started one of the first larger bitcoin business in the U.S., Bitinstant.
Seeking an investment in his business, Winklevoss Capital claims that Shrem promised to buy $750,000 dollars in bitcoin for the fund and for no commission or transaction fee, something that might sound a bit unrealistic.
According to Winklevoss Capital, they had found an address linked to Shrem they claim received 5,000 bitcoins, which they also allege to be consistent with their allegation that Shrem stole $61,000 dollars to buy 5,000 bitcoins for himself.
At that rate in the early days of cryptocurrency was toughly $12.50 a bitcoin, a small amount compared to the over $5,000 dollars bitcoin currently trades at. In this market, the Winklevoss twins could argue they had lost roughly $26 million.
If the rate has stayed the same since 2012 it would be hard to find the value in the continued legal action taken by the twins.
Shrem and his legal team had other things to say regarding the lawsuit.
Brain Klein, a representative from Shrem’s legal team, told Bitcoin Magazine:
“Winklevoss Capital Fund has brought an utterly baseless civil lawsuit against Charlie Shrem.
"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.”
However, this isn’t the first time Shrem has been under legal scrutiny.
Charlie Shrem was arrested in 2014
One of Shrem’s customers was making a profit reselling Bitcoin purchased on Bitinstant on Silk Road, an underground marketplace runs on the Darknet. Silk Road was known for illegal transactions and Charlie knew abut it. As a result, he served a year in federal prison.
The experiences really did provide growth to the man and character of Charlie Shrem.
Charlie told WNYC Studios in an interview:
“When you’re in prison, it’s not like TV where everyone’s like oh, I’m innocent. Everyone tells you they’re guilty, I’m guilty. Because to say you’re innocent minimizes all that hard work you’re doing to get out.”
That Shrem, the Shrem that has made many mistakes, but has shown time and time to own up to his responsibilities was released in 2016, since then he has never stopped defending himself against the Winklevoss allegeations.
Shrem told Cointelegraph:
“From day one, I’ve maintained the allegations are bogus, and they are of course. After their attorney was sanctioned and they were ordered to pay my legal fees twice, we recently reached a confidential resolution, and I’m dismissed from the case.”
Both parties have agreed in signature, that the entire civil action is being voluntarily dismissed with prejudice. It also stipulates that Winklevoss Capital and Shrem will pay their own legal costs and fees.
Additionally, even though they have 30 days to reopen the case if the settlement is not fully effectuated, both parties have also agreed in a separate filling that the case will not be reopened.
Assuming no further changes to the claims of the Winklevoss twins or Shrem occur before May 5th, the legal battle will finally be terminated after 7 years. Shrem also told Cointelegraph, “I’m thankful for Brain Klein and my legal team and pleased to have this case behind me.”