A man accused of controlling an underground bitcoin network that smuggled cash to Cuba, Iran and the North Korean government has won a Florida trial over the currency’s founder, Reza Khatami.
Lawyers for the self-proclaimed inventor of bitcoin, Jack Dorsey, reported that Dorsey was not involved in all dealings involving the central nervous system of the digital currency.
Prosecutors said he took part in at least one company that traded bitcoins to finance operations including diplomatic transactions with the North Korean government.
Lawyers for Dorsey have said Khatami, who mined the bitcoins for him while he was using them as collateral, earned at least $54 billion, had a 24-carat gold stash and other assets.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which has been representing Khatami, was retained by Dorsey when the government launched a legal action to seize him from his suburban Virginia home in January 2016, describing the wealthy 44-year-old as one of the world’s wealthiest people.
The civil rights group’s lawyers said Khatami is the owner of a California company that trades bitcoins and was in the midst of buying a seven-bedroom mansion in Northern Virginia.
The forfeiture case has hinged on whether Dorsey possessed material that could be used to prove he controlled the currency.
The U.S. District Court jury in Washington has returned a verdict after several hours of deliberations.