(Image courtesy of Wall Street Journal)

Kim [Schmitz|Dotcom|Tim Jim Vestor] (aka Kimble) Indicted for in Criminal Enterprise "Mega Conspiracy"

Fri Jan 20 21:56:03 CST 2012

Kim Schmitz, now known as Kim Dotcom, is a majority owner of Megaupload.com. The site is a file sharing application that allows users to upload content to be shared with their friends, or the entire Internet if they choose. According to the U.S. Department of Justice in a January 19, 2012 indictment, Schmitz and six others are part of an international organized criminal organization. The indictment (PDF) "alleges that the criminal enterprise is led by Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, 37, a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand."

The indictment goes on to say "Dotcom founded Megaupload Limited and is the director and sole shareholder of Vestor Limited, which has been used to hold his ownership interests in the Mega-affiliated sites." According to a FastCompany article quoting the indictment, "Dotcom owns roughly 68% Megaupload.com, Megaclick.com, and Megapix.com, subsidiary sites of the Mega Conspiracy brand. Dotcom also owns 100% of registered companies Megavideo.com, Megaporn.com, and Megapay.com."

Kimble was arrested in New Zealand while "clinging to a sawed-off shotgun" after officials "busted down his panic-room door" said another FastCompany article. If convicted, Kimble could get over 50 years of prison time for racketeering, copyright infringement, and money laundering. These charges may hinge on him being extradited to the United States.

The charges are based on the site Megaupload.com allegedly sharing a wide variety of copyrighted material including movies, television shows, and e-books. According to a Washington Post article, "Megaupload's executives made more than $175 million through subscription fees and online ads while robbing authors, movie producers, musicians and other copyright holders of more than $500 million."

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