With the January 18, 2012 arrest of Kim Schmitz (aka Kimble, aka Kim Dotcom), several news outlets have done more digging into his past. A FastCompany article by Austin Carr titled "Inside Megaupload's Megamind: Kim Dotcom's Playboy Bunnies, Russian Nuclear Vessels, And Private War On Terror" highlights some of Kimble's criminal past. From the article:
- In 1994, 20 cops raided Dotcom's home, in what appeared to be a sting operation set up by MCI. The police confiscated $80,000 in computer equipment, arresting Dotcom and charging him with selling stolen credit cards. Dotcom claimed to be working undercover for MCI, and that he was only trying to help make the company's systems more secure.
- In 1998, Dotcom wore black sunglasses to his trial in Germany, and boasted that he loved "feeling like a spy." He was convicted of fraud and other hacking charges, including embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was sentenced to two years of probation, and fined 20,000 marks. The judge at the time said the court viewed his actions as "youthful foolishness."
- In 2001, Kim Dotcom (then known as Kim Schmitz) purchased a mountain of shares in a nearly bankrupt company called LetsBuyIt.com. He revealed to the public that he'd invest $100 million in the company. Share prices rocketed 300%, earning him $1.5 million in profit--but also landed him an insider trading conviction in Germany.
- After being arrested in Bangkok in a 5-star hotel, due to a request by the German embassy, Dotcom threated to kill himself online on his birthday in protest. He said on his website that "the real Kim Schmitz" is no more, and that he wants now to be called "His Royal Highness King Kimble the First, Ruler of the Kimpire." He was eventually deported from Thailand to Germany where he was detained in 2002.