Charlie Shrem, the founder of the already inactive BitInstant exchange, denied his involvement in the appropriation of 5000 BTC belonging to the founders of the Gemini Company, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. This is reported by CoinDesk, citing a document registered in the district court of the Southern District of New York.
Shrem argues that the Winklevoss brothers did not provide sufficient reasons to accuse him of criminal intent. As a basic counter-argument, he stated that the 5,000 Bitcoins on the wallet connected to him belong to a third-party person listed in the document under the name “Mr. X”. The businessman claims that he helped Mr. X to transfer 5,000 bitcoins to a cold wallet, but he himself did not have access to these funds.
“Never personally owned the 5,000 bitcoins discussed above, nor have I ever personally owned 5,000 bitcoins all at one time,”- he says
In support of his words, Charlie Shrem provided Transaction extracts from the Blockchain service, which indicate that 5,000 Bitcoins arrived and left the wallet associated with him on December 31, 2012.
He explained his expensive purchases by saving honestly earned money, in particular, from working in a restaurant in Pennsylvania.
“After I was released from prison, I had a net worth of less than $100,000 and worked for approximately six months at a restaurant in Pennsylvania. Since working at the restaurant, I have worked a variety of jobs that have allowed me to accumulate funds and to restore myself financially,”- Shrem added.
Shrem appealed to the court to unblock his assets, which had been frozen for the duration of the proceedings in the case of his BitInstant exchange.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have not yet commented on the situation.
Earlier, Winklevoss filed a lawsuit against Shrem, demanding to reimburse them 5,000 bitcoins (almost $32 million at the current rate). According to them, in 2012 they transferred $1 million to the entrepreneur for the purchase of bitcoins. Winklevoss later realized that they did not receive bitcoins for the full amount. In addition, the brothers were interested in expensive purchases from Charlie Shrem, in particular, real estate, boats, and sports cars.