£275 Million Mistake: Father To Sue Local Authority Over Bitcoin Hard Drive

Not every day, one mistakenly loses access to a hard drive containing 7,500 BTC. That is the case of this British father, who has been in a long-running battle with the Newport City Council to recover his lost funds. 

A £1 Billion Lawsuit To Recover £275 Million Worth Of Bitcoin

According to the report, an engineer, James Howells, plans to sue the Newport City Council for £1 billion, which he admits can bankrupt the local authority. However, this is not Howells’ intention, as he stated that the lawsuit is just a “means” he wants to use to recover his Bitcoin

Howells revealed that the Newport City Council has been adamant about helping him recover his funds so far, refusing to speak to him about how they can help him regain the hard drive. Interestingly, the report noted that this matter has been ongoing for over a decade with no end, considering how “stubborn” the council has been. 

In the past, the engineer had offered to share the lost Bitcoin with the Council if they could help him find the hard drive, but they still didn’t budge. Howells hopes the lawsuit will get the Council’s attention and lure them to the negotiation table to avoid bankruptcy. 

If that doesn’t work out, he would need the court to grant him an injunction to dig up the landfill where he believes his Bitcoin hard drive was thrown away. As part of the legal steps he is taking, Howells is reported to have hired a legal team that has already sprung into action.

The lawyers have written a letter of demand to the Council requesting permission to search the site for the missing drive. 

The Back Story 

Bitcoinist reported that Howell’s Bitcoin hard drive was accidentally thrown out during an office clearout in 2014. The drive was mixed up with the other items his ex-girlfriend had put in the dump. The computer engineer believes the hard drive lies at a Gwent, Newport landfill. 

Howells has argued that he wasn’t the one who binned the drive, and the council should recognize this and lend a “helping hand.” However, the City Council contends that the engineer lost claim to the drive when it was dumped.  

Even if Howells is successful in his claims, he still has his work cut out. Even with X-ray scanning machines and AI technology, a landfill search will take nine to twelve months. The engineer, however, has an idea of where exactly to look, as he mentioned that he has studied aerial photographs of the site. 

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