Expat internet mogul Kim Dotcom today lost a legal challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the federal government seizing his overseas assets. Dotcom, a German/Finnish citizen with New Zealand residency, is also battling extradition to the U.S. to face money laundering and copyright violation charges.
Dotcom is best known as the founder of file sharing platform MegaUpload, which his Hollywood and government accusers say was a haven for copyright content piracy. He was first arrested in a raid on his N.Z. estate in January 2012 and has defied U.S. attempts to extradite him ever since.
However, local authorities seized millions of dollars worth of physical assets in that raid, and the U.S. government wants them. The Supreme Court was ruling on Dotcom’s challenge to an earlier Appeals Court decision in the government’s favor.
Dotcom: Most of My Assets Are Still out of Your Reach
Bold as ever, 43 year-old Dotcom claimed the ruling wouldn’t help the feds get their hands on any more of his property:
Fortunately most of my assets are in Hong Kong and HK courts won't allow forfeiture of my assets simply because I legally oppose extradition
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) October 2, 2017
Dotcom hasn’t shied away from the industry that landed him in trouble, either. He is also well-known in the Bitcoin community, with plans to operate a bitcoin-based successor to MegaUpload called Bitcache. The first stage of the project is a bitcoin payment plugin for YouTube, to support content creators whose work has been “demonetized” by Google.
He enjoys celebrity status and a degree of public support in his adopted country, mostly from the cryptocurrency and counterculture technology communities. He founded the Internet Party and ran for election to New Zealand’s parliament in 2014, but that support wasn’t enough to gain him a seat.
Sitting in the national parliament would have granted extra protection against extradition. Dotcom has lost a recent string of legal challenges to the move, most recently in February 2017. He faces up to 20 years in U.S. prison if convicted.
Dotcom is also the world’s current number two-ranked Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 player.
What do you think of Kim Dotcom and today’s decision? Let us know in the comments.
Images via Wikimedia Commons