He rose to fame in Germany in the 1990s as a hacker and an Internet entrepreneur who took advantage of reporters’ lack of technical credibility. He was arrested in 1994 for trafficking in stolen phone calling card numbers. He was convicted on 11 charges of computer fraud, 10 charges of data espionage and various other charges in 1998 that he served a two-year suspended sentence for. In 2003, he was deported to Germany where he pleaded guilty to embezzlement in November 2003 and after five months in jail awaiting trial he received another 20 months suspended sentence.
Dotcom is the founder and former CEO of the defunct file hosting service Megaupload (2005–2012). In 2012, the United States Department of Justice seized its website and pressed charges against Dotcom, including criminal copyright infringement, money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud. Dotcom was residing in New Zealand at the time; at the request of US authorities, New Zealand police raided his home in 2012 and arrested him. Dotcom posted bail and initiated legal proceedings in order to prevent his extradition to the United States.
In 2017, a New Zealand court ruled that Dotcom could be extradited to the US on fraud charges related to Megaupload. Dotcom denied any wrongdoing and has accused US authorities of pursuing a vendetta against him on behalf of politically influential Hollywood studios. In 2018, the New Zealand Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s ruling. Dotcom appealed to the Supreme Court of New Zealand, which ruled in 2020 that Dotcom could be extradited to the United States, but that he could challenge the decision through a judicial review.
In 2013, Dotcom launched another cloud storage service called Mega, although he severed all ties with the service in 2015. He also started and funded the Internet Party. The party contested the 2014 New Zealand general election under an electoral alliance with the Mana Movement and contested the 2017 general election independently, but failed to win any seats at either election.
In 2017, Dotcom played a role in spreading conspiracy theories about the murder of Seth Rich
What is Kim Dotcom’s net worth?
Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, is a German-Finnish internet entrepreneur who has a net worth of $10 million. Kim Dotcom first became infamous in Germany in the 90s as an Internet entrepreneur. Later, he gained global notoriety as the founder and CEO of the online file hosting and sharing service Megaupload, which was seized by the US Department of Justice in connection to copyright infringement, money laundering, wire fraud, and racketeering. Residing in New Zealand, Dotcom has since fought to avoid extradition to the US.
Founded in 2005, Megaupload allowed users to upload any video they found to be viewed and shared by anyone in the world. Think of it like a YoutTube for pirated videos. Those pirated videos cost movie studios a reported $500 million in damages.
At the peak of Megaupload’s success, Kim Dotcom was personally earning $150,000 a day in profits.
Kim Dotcom was born as Kim Schmitz on January 21, 1974 in Kiel, West Germany. He is of German descent on his father’s side and Finnish descent on his mother’s side.
Notoriety in 90s Germany
Dotcom rose to infamy in his native Germany in the early 90s as an Internet entrepreneur. He ran a bulletin board system through which users could trade pirated software; he also claimed that he had circumvented the security of NASA and the Pentagon under the alias “Kimble.” In 1994, Dotcom was arrested for selling phone numbers and was held in custody for one month. Later, he was arrested again on charges of computer fraud and data espionage. Dotcom was issued a two-year suspended sentence due to his being a minor.
International Fugitive in Thailand and Hong Kong
To escape investigation in Germany, Dotcom moved to Thailand. However, he was eventually arrested there at the request of the German embassy. Dotcom reportedly faked his own death online in response. This failed to work, as he was ultimately deported back to Germany. In late 2003, Dotcom pleaded guilty to embezzlement, and following five months in detention was issued a suspended sentence of 20 months. Ultimately, he managed to avoid this sentence by moving to Hong Kong. There, Dotcom established a network of interlinked companies, including the AI-driven hedge fund Trendax.
New Zealand Move
Following a pair of visits to New Zealand in 2008 and 2009, Dotcom applied for residency in the country in late 2010. Immigration New Zealand decided to grant him residency when he invested $10 million in the country; however, this was kept secret from the public. Eventually, it was revealed that Dotcom was involved in a corrupt business partnership with Auckland mayor John Banks. In 2014, Banks was found to be guilty of filing a false electoral return in connection to Dotcom.
Megaupload and Fallout
In 2005, Dotcom established the online file hosting and sharing service Megaupload, of which he became CEO. The site went on to become enormously popular, drawing 50 million daily visitors and racking up $175 million in revenue. However, in early 2012, Dotcom and other executives of Megaupload were indicted in the US on charges of copyright infringement, racketeering, and money laundering. Shortly after this, Dotcom and other executives were arrested in New Zealand in an armed raid on Dotcom’s mansion. The police seized 18 luxury cars, among other pricey assets; moreover, Dotcom’s numerous global bank accounts were frozen. He was subsequently detained at Mt. Eden Prison.
Dotcom’s case moved to the High Court of New Zealand, where it was determined that the warrants used to seize his assets were illegal on account of being too broad. Additionally, it was ruled that the New Zealand police’s handing of Dotcom’s hard drives to the FBI was illegal. Later, in 2017, Dotcom accepted a settlement from the police in relation to the raid. That year, a New Zealand court ruled that Dotcom and the other accused Megaupload executives could be extradited to the United States on charges of fraud. Dotcom continues to deny any malfeasance on his part, claiming that he is being persecuted by the US government and various industry trade groups.
Dotcom entered the political fray in New Zealand in 2014 when he founded the Internet Party. Allied with the Mana Party, the Internet Party was initially led by left-wing political veteran Laila Harré. In the 2014 general election, the Party failed to win any seats, despite Dotcom contributing a huge $3.5 million to the Party. Ahead of the next general election in 2017, Suzie Dawson was made the new leader of the Internet Party. Once again, it failed to win any seats. The Internet Party was ultimately deregistered in 2018.
After releasing a handful of singles, Dotcom put out his debut studio album, “Good Times,” in early 2014. The album made it to number eight on the Recorded Music NZ album chart.
Among his other endeavors, Dotcom is an avid player of the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” Before he was arrested in New Zealand, he was the game’s number-one-ranked player in the world. On the more philanthropic side of things, Dotcom created the group Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Later, in 2013, he launched the cloud storage service MEGA.
In 2009, Dotcom married Mona Verga, whom he had first met in 2007. Together, the two had twin girls. Dotcom also has three children from prior relationships. The couple eventually separated in 2014. In early 2018, Dotcom married Elizabeth Donnelly, who is 21 years his junior.
Kim Dotcom Broke?
In November 2014, Kim announced that he was “officially broke”. He claims he lost the majority of his fortune when his assets were seized in July 2014. He has also spent a small fortune defending himself over the last year and has transferred remaining assets out of his name to protect them from prosecution. His lawyer Ira Rothken recently confirmed:’
“Kim Dotcom is broke because the largest copyright case in US history has cost about $10 million to date to defend and will cost tens of millions of dollars more going forward.“
Before his arrest, Dotcom/Schmitz lived a life that any man on earth would envy. In 2011, Kim personally earned $40 million thanks to Megaupload.
He owned a fleet of expensive high performance cars, yachts, private jets and one of the most expensive houses in New Zealand that cost a reported $25 million. He traveled the world with Playboy bunnies and drove around in a Lamborghini that had the license plate “GOD”. When he was arrested on January 19th, 2012, authorities seized $5 million worth of luxury cars, including a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe with a price tag of $400,000.
Kim Dotcom’s Former Luxury Lifestyle Facts:
- Megaupload’s main office in Hong Kong was actually a $12,000 a day luxury hotel suite.
- When police raided his house they seized $5 million worth of cars.
- Kim’s cars had license plates like “HACKER”, “STONED”, “GUILTY”, “MAFIA” and “GOD”.
- Kim lived in a $25 million New Zealand mansion.
- Megaupload.com was hosted on over 1,500 servers located in Virginia, France and the Netherlands.
- Megaupload.com had 180 million registered members and 50 million daily unique visitors.
- It was the 13th most visited website in the world.
- Kim spent $500,000 on a New Years fireworks display in Auckland which he watched from above in his helicopter.
Kim Dotcom Height and Weight
How tall is Kim Dotcom? Kim Dotcom’s height is 6 foot 7. His weight roughly 330 pounds.
New Zealand Mansion
In March 2019 a YouTuber named Erick Tseng posted a rare video tour of Kim Dotcom’s mansion, one of the most expensive in all of New Zealand, valued at around $25 million. As you might expect from someone of Dotcom’s interests, the mansion is an eccentric tech millionaire utopia, with lavish design touches that often look more like something out of The Sims than an actual home for humans to live in. That’s true despite the fact that Dotcom hasn’t actually lived here for some time.
Dotcom’s master bedroom (a phrase that doesn’t even begin to convey how large it is) is the focus of the video tour, and words don’t quite capture the bizarre sensibility that clearly went into its design and furnishing. One especially strange touch is the bathroom, which foregoes the usual sense of enclosed privacy in favor of a sink, bathtub, and toilet scattered haphazardly in a room that apparently used to be a sun room – complete with large windows for taking in the estate while in your most private moments, as well as a big screen TV mounted on the wall. The bathtub itself would look somewhat unusual even in a traditional bathroom, surrounded as it is by a white padded bench, presumably for either bath time spectators or those waiting in line for their chance in the tub.
Just outside the bathroom, there’s Dotcom’s old lap pool, complete with an elaborate lighting scheme that again seems like something a 12-year-old would dream up. From there, you can find the massive walk-in closet with an elaborate array of mirrors inside, reminiscent of the hall of mirrors owned by Mr. Han in the film Enter the Dragon.
I haven’t even gotten to the panic room yet, which is reportedly where Dotcom was finally arrested after authorities took a while to find it. You’ll see how he was able to stay hidden, as well as a ton of other odd touches and details to the home, in the video below: