In a short-term win for bitcoin advocate Charlie Shrem, a federal judge has lifted the freeze on Shrem’s financial accounts in an ongoing legal battle against the Winklevoss twins.
Shrem’s financial accounts and assets were temporarily frozen via an attachment order following the suit’s initial filing. The order allowed the U.S. Marshall for the Southern District to freeze Shrem’s assets, instructing cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase and Xapo and legacy financial institutions to freeze Shrem’s assets up to $30 million, the amount the Winklevosses are seeking in damages.
However, following a hearing on Thursday, November 8, 2019, presiding Judge Jed S. Rakoff issued a court order lifting the freeze.
“After careful consideration, the Court denies plaintiff’s motion to confirm the order of attachment and therefore lifts the attachment currently in place effective immediately,” the order reads.
The document concludes by saying that an opinion will be issued “in due course” explaining why a freeze was unnecessary for the initial proceedings to continue.
Earlier this month, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss of the Gemini Exchange in New York filed a suit against Charlie Shrem for 5,000 BTC after Shrem reportedly made several high-value purchases following his release from prison.
Shrem has claimed he went to prison penniless, reportedly working as a dishwasher for several months after his release before returning to the bitcoin space. Shrem’s self-reported poverty has lead the community to question where he dug up the funds for his luxury shopping spree.
The Winklevosses believe that these purchases were made with bitcoin Shrem stole from the twins when they hired him to manage their initial cryptocurrency investments in 2012.
The working relationship was troubled when Shrem allegedly mismanaged roughly $60,000 of bitcoin.