His father was German. He has been called one of the world's "largest tech entrepreneurs". Prior to his arrest in New Zealand, he enjoyed a luxurious life. In , his main source of income was a company called Kimvestor, which he valued at million euros. He is known for spending his money on expensive cars and boats. In an interview on Belgian Television, he claimed that in Morocco a car was blocking him and he "had to bump him off the road.
Nothing happened to him". He claims he subsequently found out it was the Chief of Police in a civilian car. He wanted to buy the mansion when the lease expired. Modern Warfare 3 player out of more than 15 million online players. Dotcom is 21 years older than Donnelly. They had been dating for two years and in moved to Queenstown to live. He was held in custody for a month, released and arrested again on additional hacking charges shortly afterwards.
He was eventually convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud, 10 counts of data espionage, and an assortment of other charges. He received a two-year suspended sentence — because he was underage at the time the crimes were committed. One commentator suggested that Schmitz may have been ignorant of the legal ramifications of what he had done, since insider trading was not made a crime in Germany until ,  and until prosecutors also had to prove the accused had criminal intent.
Immigration New Zealand made its decision on his application despite his foreign convictions and despite his persona non grata status in Thailand after officials used a special direction to waive "good character" requirements.
Dotcom also told Immigration New Zealand his convictions had been "erased" from his record under Germany's clean-slate legislation. Officials red-flagged his application: Immigration New Zealand officers judged Dotcom's convictions in Hong Kong too minor to consider deporting him.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving, and on 14 September , was convicted under his former name of Kim Schmitz. On his residency application of 3 June , he answered "No" to the question, "Have you He asked Dotcom for help putting on a fireworks display in the city's harbour.
Banks later attended a New Year's Eve party thrown by Dotcom at the city centre apartment of now bankrupt property developer David Henderson. Banks said he offered advice to the millionaire on how to apply for Overseas Investment Office permission to buy the Coatesville mansion Dotcom had been renting since coming to New Zealand.
In , Banks was found guilty of filing a false electoral return , with evidence from Dotcom playing a major part in the case. Among Dotcom's revelations was a phone call from Banks, thanking him for the contribution. Megaupload legal case In February , at the same time he registered Trendax, Dotcom set up another company called Data Protect Limited, but changed the name to Megaupload in In 10 Facts about the Megaupload Scandal, Dotcom describes the company like this: The company's primary website, Megaupload.
This storage platform allowed its users to store files in the Internet "cloud" and to use, if needed, online storage space and bandwidth. However, millions of people from across the globe used Megaupload to store and access copies of TV shows, feature films, songs, porn, and software. They didn't provide us with the basic things Every two hours, they would wake me up. I was deprived of sleep.
I wrote a complaint. I said, 'This is torture, this is sleep deprivation'. The judge considered there was no longer a significant risk that Dotcom would flee the country as all of his assets had been seized by this time, no new assets or bank accounts had been identified, and he had "every reason to stay to be with his family and fight to keep his assets. The police acted on this authorization. The warrants could not authorize seizure of irrelevant material, and are therefore invalid.
He was also allowed to sell nine of his cars. However, Justice Murray Gilbert accepted the argument made by Dotcom's legal team that he and his former Megaupload colleagues cannot be extradited because of copyright infringement.
The judge said he made this decision because: However, Justice Gilbert said there were "general criminal law fraud provisions" in New Zealand law which covered the actions of the accused and they could be extradited on that basis.
Both sides are expected to challenge aspects of the ruling before the New Zealand Court of Appeal and eventually the Supreme Court. The Crown appealed, but the ruling was upheld by the High Court. The Crown appealed again and in March , the Court of Appeal quashed the previous court decisions. Crown lawyer John Pike, on behalf of the US Government, argued that the district court had no power to make disclosure decisions in an extradition case and that "disclosure was extensive and could involve billions of emails".
The Court of Appeal agreed stating that extradition hearings were not trials and the full protections and procedures for criminal trials did not apply. In May , the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, so it will make the final decision on whether Dotcom should receive all the FBI investigation files before the extradition hearing. The settlement came after a damages claim was filed with the High Court over the "unreasonable" use of force when the anti-terrorism Special Tactics Group raided his mansion in January Settlements have already been reached between police and Bram van der Kolk and Mathias Ortmann who were also arrested.
The New Zealand Herald reported that their settlements were six-figure sums and "it is likely Dotcom would seek more as the main target in the raid".
Commenting on the settlement, Dotcom said: Chief Justice Sian Elias dissented, saying there had been a miscarriage of justice as the search warrant was too broad.
When the US tried to have his bail revoked, a new lawyer, Ron Mansfield, helped keep him out of prison. In making this decision, Judge Tallentire said, "No one can say when that process of extradition will be completed given the appeal paths open to the various accused. Indeed, no one can say if it will ever be completed".
Dotcom argued that Mr Key was involved in a plan to allow him into New Zealand so that he could then be extradited to the US to face copyright charges. Mr Key had consistently said he had never heard of Dotcom until the day before the New Zealand Police raided his mansion in Coatesville. Three days later, the Prime Minister John Key apologized for the illegal spying. I apologize to New Zealanders because every New Zealander… is entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB Government Communications Security Bureau, and we failed to provide that appropriate protection for him.
This opened the door for Dotcom to sue for damages — against the spy agency and the police. Political commentator Bryce Edwards said the GCSB's involvement and the botched search warrants have "turned the pursuit of Dotcom and the operations of our law-enforcement agencies into the stuff of farce". A Waikato Times editorial said that the announcement of the illegal spying has "heightened suspicions that this country's relationship with the United States has become one of servility rather than friendship.
It is preposterous to suggest Mr Dotcom threatens our national security. The Government's unquestioning readiness to co-operate with American authorities seriously corrodes our claims to be an independent state. The deal was brokered to serve the Mana Party financially, with the combined structure's political campaign in the general election being primarily funded by Dotcom. In contrast, the fledgling Internet Party was to benefit from the possibility of seats in parliament in the event that the combined structure were to achieve a greater percentage of the country's vote, helped along by the Mana Party's existing seat.
On 16 September , Dotcom held an event in the Auckland Town Hall five days before the election in which he promised to provide 'absolute proof' that Key knew about him long before he was arrested. Dotcom said in January he had become such 'a pariah' in New Zealand that he might as well leave the country. He said there were no legal grounds to extradite Dotcom and the allegations and evidence made public by the US Department of Justice "do not meet the requirements necessary to support a prima facie case that would be recognised by United States federal law".
Christine Gordon claimed one message written by Dotcom, when translated from German, read: Mansfield had the passage translated by three independent academics who said it had a very different meaning and should read: He said the US had a "large body of evidence" which supported a prima facie case.
He said the judge and prosecutor offered him a suspended sentence if he pleaded guilty. I should write a book about doing business in Hong Kong, that's how good it is. Steve Jobs was a hacker and Martha Stuart [ sic ] is doing well after her insider trading case. I think over a decade after all of this happened it should NOT be the dominating topic. I am 37 years old now, I am married, I have three adorable children with two more on the way twin girls — yeah and I know that I am not a bad person.
I have grown and I have learned. Making this into an issue about my past is unfair to everyone else working at Mega. Our business is legitimate.
Companies or individuals with concerns that their copyright material was being posted on Megaupload were given direct access to the website to delete infringing links. Megaupload also employed 20 staff dedicated to taking down material that might infringe copyright.
In addition, US privacy laws, such as Electronic Communication Privacy Act , prohibit the administrators from looking into the accounts of the users. He explained the close ties of his case to that of Viacom vs YouTube in which the Digital Millennium Copyright Act DMCA shielded YouTube from the infringement of its users and described his surprise when he was arrested without trial or a hearing.
In regard to the illegal spying conducted by GCSB, Dotcom said they were not spying to find out where he was. Government full access to all my communication, without the requirement of a warrant," he said.
He claims that the US government prosecuted him in return for contributions from the studios to President Barack Obama. Spies, Lies and the War for the Internet. The book covers aspects of Dotcom's personal life and reveals that he fears for his life. He is quoted telling a friend "Don't just let it go", if he is killed as part of US allegations of copyright breaches associated with Megaupload.
He had warmed to one of its more notable shows, Media7, for its championing of Internet freedom, and had been interviewed on the show at least once. In August , Dotcom released a song titled Party Amplifier as a sample of his upcoming album.
Printz and Dotcom recorded more than 20 songs at Neil Finn 's Roundhead Studios in Newton, Auckland — one of which is called Mr President — an electronica protest against Barack Obama, who Dotcom believes was involved in shutting down Megaupload. On 2 November, Dotcom announced a new file storage service, similar to Megaupload, using the domain name me. It was to be launched 19 January , but the African state of Gabon , which controls the. The site has since registered the names mega.