Internet pirate Dotcom in New Zealand court
Internet mogul Kim Dotcom has denied online piracy in a New Zealand court, after the FBI accused him of gaining $175m (£112m) illegally through his site Megaupload.com.
A North Shore judge refused the German national bail after prosecutors claimed there was a huge flight risk. The 38-year-old defendant, who also goes by the name of Kim Schmitz, allegedly has access to huge amounts of money, has many fake identities and has been known to flee from criminal charges in the past.
Kim was arrested on Saturday in his rented home in New Zealand at the bidding of the FBI. He has been charged in a Virginia court with racketeering, money laundering and copyright infringement and the FBI is aiming to get him extradited, reports the Guardian.
The FBI believes that he, with conspirators, caused $500m of damage to copyright holders. In a dramatic scene, police were forced to cut Kim out of a barricaded room in him home. His lawyer later claimed he hid in this area as he was “frightened and panicked.”
The FBI estimates Kim made an incredible $115,000 a day in 2010 from his criminal empire. Property that may be confiscated include a fleet of luxury cars, including a pink Cadillac and a Lambourghini. Films Kim posted of himself on the internet show his high-flying lifestyle, which included partying on luxury yachts and personalised helicopters.
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