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MegaUpload Owner Found Hiding in Safe Room with Sawed-Off Shotgun

Elizabeth Field

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The day after mass online protests against anti-piracy legislation such as SOPA, the U.S. federal government closed down popular file-sharing

The 38-year-old German national was in his $23 million mansion in Coatesville, New Zealand when police officers and helicopters swarmed his home.

website Megaupload.com, and the FBI arrested four people and charged three others in an anti-piracy sting. Details regarding the arrest of MegaUpload founder, Kim “Dotcom” Schmitz have been made public including that police found him hiding in the safe room of his New Zealand mansion with a sawed-off shotgun.

The indictment against MegaUpload says that the website has cost copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue by making their intellectual property free to download. The website boasted “more than 150 million registered users, 50 million daily visitors, and accounting for four percent of the total traffic on the Internet,” according to the Justice Department.

The 38-year-old German national was in his $23 million mansion in Coatesville, New Zealand when police officers and helicopters swarmed his home. Schmitz denied them entry and engaged several electronic locks throughout the household before forces found him in the safe room.

Schmitz was taken into custody while police continued to search his property. They seized approximately 18 luxury vehicles totaling over $4.8 million. Personalized license plates on the vehicles included words and phrases such as “GOD,” “STONED,” “CEO,” and “MAFIA.” Police also seized artwork within the home and electronic equipment.

The MegaUpload founder is currently facing up to twenty years in prison on charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and racketeering. Schmitz and other MegaUpload employees who were arrested in the sting have been denied bail.

The three other men arrested in the New Zealand raid include 38-year old Finn Batato, 40-year-old Mathias Ortmann, and 29-year-old Bram van der Kolk. The extradition process will continue in New Zealand.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
MegaUpload Owner Found Hiding in Safe Room with Sawed-Off Shotgun