In re Marriage of DeSouza (2020) 54 Cal.App.5th 25

In re Marriage of DeSouza (2020) 54 Cal.App.5th 25, First District, Division Three.  While dissolution proceedings were pending, the ex-husband of GMSR’s client had two friends buy bitcoins with the community’s assets without at the time disclosing the purchases to his ex-wife.  One friend transferred the bitcoin to the ex-husband, the other kept the bitcoin in the friend’s name at an offshore exchange.  The offshore exchange thereafter filed for bankruptcy making the bitcoin unavailable.  The Court of Appeal, affirming the trial court, held that the ex-husband’s failure to disclose breached his fiduciary duty to his ex-wife resulting in a loss that was his sole responsibility.  The fact that the first bitcoin purchases made money could not be offset against the loss from the second purchase and subsequent loss of bitcoins.

Court of Appeal Opinion – View Document