The US government is keeping millions of dollars seized from Megaupload
The US government has rejected Kim Dotcom’s attempts to claw back his Megaupload millions.
The New Zealand-based internet entrepreneur-slash-piracy king will not be allowed to challenge the seizure of $67 million in assets because he is a fugitive evading prosecution.
The US government brought criminal charges against Dotcom in early 2012, but since then he has been hiding out in New Zealand waiting to see if he’ll be extradited. The government then brought a civil complaint for forfeiture in rem, giving it control over money, cars, art and other property allegedly gained by Megaupload through criminal activity.
Dotcom is attempting to challenge the government by questioning their basis for the seizures, saying “there is no such crime as secondary criminal copyright infringement”, and challenging how the assets are tied to the charges against him. However, the Department of Justice has referred to the doctrine of ‘fugitive disentitlement’, stating that criminal defendants who won’t willingly give themselves up should not be allowed to use the resources of the court to attempt to claw back their cash.
Ira Rothken, Dotcom’s lawyer, said: “The issue is the government basically is looking to use the fugitive disentitlement doctrine as procedural mechanism to avoid arguing merits of criminal action.”
Dotcom’s extradition hearing is currently set for June 2, 2015. He’s offering $5 million to whistleblowers who can help him prove “unlawful or corrupt conduct by the US government, the New Zealand government, spy agencies, law enforcement and Hollywood.” [via Billboard]