Skip to main content

Home  »  Bizarre LawsuitsUK Business NewsUS business news   »   £1 billion Lawsuit Over Lost Hard Drive With £275m in Bitcoin

£1 billion Lawsuit Over Lost Hard Drive With £275m in Bitcoin

An AI image of a man searching a landfill site with a metal detector

A man is looking for £1 billion in damages from his local council after a 10-year battle over a lost hard drive containing £275 million ($346m) in Bitcoin.

The Mirror reports James Howell is taking action against Newport City Council in a move which, if he wins, is likely to bankrupt the council.

The row has been rumbling on for 10 years, with the council saying it did nothing wrong.

The authority says it was correctly disposed of at a landfill site.

Mr Howells, 38, said the hard drive was thrown away during an office clean-up in 2014.

He said he put the drive in a trash bag, which was then mistakenly taken to the dump by his former partner.

Since then, he has been embroiled in a row with the Labour-run council in Wales.

"They have to reasonably give back your property"

He is now, in a move similar to some of the huge lawsuits seen in the U.S, taking the matter to the High Court and a Judicial review to try to reclaim the item.

He said: "It's a bit like if you're neighbours and you kick your football over next door's fence - they have to reasonably give back your property.

"They can't instead build a brick wall over your property, which is effectively what Newport City Council has done by continuing to pile waste on it."

His legal team is asking the council to be allowed access to the landfill site to search for the drive.

He is even offering to share the Bitcoin money with the council if the item is found.

Need Career Advice? Get employment skills advice at all levels of your career

But he claims the authority is "too stubborn" to back down over the matter.

Mr Howells has stressed bankrupting the council is not his aim.

He says he wants the right to look for the item, as well as compensation based on the Bitcoin's current value.

The value of the Bitcoin has rocketed since 2014.

Mr Howells claims he has identified the area where the drive could be.

However, the search could take nine to 12 months, using specially deployed AI technology.

Follow us on X, LinkedIn, and Facebook