Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has effectively abandoned all hope of retrieving millions of dollars of capital, real estate and luxury goods after the US Justice Department formally filed an asset-forfeiture with the Supreme Court on Friday.
The case is unprecedented as Dotcom has never once stepped-foot on US soil. The US claim jurisdiction over Dotcom because his site Megaupload operated some servers from the US.
The Finnish-German tech entrepreneur’s bank accounts in New Zealand and Hong Kong were seized, as well as multiple cars, four jet skis, Dotcom’s mansion, several luxury cars, two 108-inch TVs, three 82-inch TVs, a $10,000 watch, and a photograph by Olaf Mueller worth more than $100,000.
Dotcom is currently on bail in New Zealand and fighting extradition to the US in a complex legal battle. He is therefore a fugitive under US law and unable to challenge the US Supreme Court under the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine.
His defense claims the Justice Department is taking too expansive a view of the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine. That’s because Dotcom, they maintain, isn’t a fugitive because he is lawfully challenging his extradition in the New Zealand courts.
See his petition to the Supreme Court below:
Dotcom dot-coming to the US?
Kim Dotcom is a bizarre and cult-like figure within the hacktivist community – the kind of antihero whose story would make an intensely-watchable film one day.
He was an outlaw as a young teenager, gaining notoriety in his native Germany after hacking Nasa, the Pentagon and Citibank. He became one of the richest tech entrepreneurs in the world by the early 2000s, predominantly through a seed fund called Kimvestor. In 2005 he changed his surname from Schmitz to Dotcom in homage to the colossal fortune the internet had brought him.
His other accomplishments throughout his erratic and mutable career include achieving the number one global rank at Call of Duty, contesting the 2014 New Zealand election and getting in a drawn-out spat with Prime Minister John Key, hacking Osama Bin Laden’s Sudanese bank account and recording an electronica protest album against Barack Obama.
Despite the ostensible ridiculousness of his career and persona, he commands significant influence online and never ceases to be a thorn in the side of the US intelligence community.
After Megaupload was taken down by the FBI, hacktivist outfit Anonymous conducted DDOS attacks that crippled the IT infrastructure of the US Department of Justice.
Recently, he has been contributing to noises surrounding the mysterious death of DNC staffer Seth Rich. He believes that a whistleblower who once contacted him, identifying himself as ‘Panda’, was actually Rich, and is convinced that he was murdered for political reasons rather than the botched robbery which was reported in the verdict of DC police.
Dotcom claims that he can provide evidence relating to the death of Seth Rich on the condition that he is granted safe passage to the US and back to New Zealand.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 11, 2017
This request was denied, and the US continue to pressure New Zealand for his extradition. To add insult to injury, they now have his jet skis.
Leak of Nations | Kim Dotcom