Kim Dotcom Biography
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Also Known As: Kim Schmitz, Kimble, Kim Tim Jim Vestor, Kim Dot Com
Born Country: Germany
Born in: Kiel, West Germany
Famous as: Entrepreneur, Programmer, Hacker
Spouse/Ex-: Mona Dotcom
mother: Anneli Miettinen
children: Kaylo Dotcom, Keera Dotcom, Kimmo Dotcom, Kobi Dotcom, Kylee Dotcom
City: Kiel, Germany
Founder/Co-Founder: Megaupload, Mega Limited
Kim Dotcom is an internet entrepreneur, hacker, and political activist. He is best known as the founder of a file hosting service called ‘Megaupload.’ At its peak, ‘Megaupload’ was one of the most visited websites. Dotcom earned millions of dollars through the file hosting service before it was seized by the ‘United States Department of Justice’ in 2012. Subsequently, Dotcom was charged with copyright infringement, wire fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. Since New Zealand government had granted him permanent residency in 2010, the ‘FBI’ was unable to extradite Dotcom immediately after pressing charges against him. In 2014, Dotcom founded a political party called ‘The Internet Party’ which contested the New Zealand general election in 2014 and 2017. Dotcom is also known for his singing skills as he released a studio album titled ‘Good Times’ in 2014. Released under ‘Kimpire Music’ label, the album peaked at number eight in the ‘New Zealand Albums Chart.’
- In 1992, Dotcom claimed to the German media that he had hacked the security systems of ‘Citibank,’ ‘NASA,’ and ‘The Pentagon.’ He also said that he had hacked several private branch exchange (PBX) systems of US-based companies.
- In 1994, he was arrested in Germany for trafficking in phone calling card numbers. He was released after a month and was arrested again after the German police pressed hacking charges against him. Though he was convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud among many other charges, he received a two-year suspended sentence with the judge calling his actions ‘youthful foolishness’ because of the fact that he was underage at the time.
- Dotcom founded a security company called ‘Data Protect’ in 2000. He then landed a security contract with ‘Lufthansa’ and invested the money into building a car internet-controlled system called ‘Megacar.’ His internet-controlled system which included a multi-camera video conferencing system, display screen, and internet router was retailed at $90,000.
- In 2001, he became a shareholder of ‘Letsbuyit.com’ as he bought €375,000 worth of shares. He then announced that he would be investing €50 million in the company which caused the share value of ‘Letsbuyit.com’ to increase. After a spike in the company’s share value, Dotcom cashed out and made a profit of €1.5 million. In 2002, German prosecutors proved that he had criminal intent while buying the company’s shares.
- Dotcom escaped to Thailand to avoid investigation. However, he was arrested in Thailand and was deported to Germany. In November 2003, he pleaded guilty to embezzlement and received a suspended sentence of 20 months. In 2003, he moved to Hong Kong where he registered a company called ‘Kimpire Limited.’
- In 2009, he moved to New Zealand with his family and bought 12 cars worth $3.2 million. He also leased a helicopter and a mansion. In spite of having a criminal record, he was granted permanent residency by the New Zealand government in 2010 as he had invested $10 million in the island nation. An immigration official from New Zealand said that he was granted residency under ‘investor plus’ category.
- On January 5, 2012, indictments against Dotcom were filed in the United States. On January 20, a team consisting of 76 police officers raided Dotcom’s house and seized assets worth $17 million. After his arrest, Dotcom was taken to ‘Mt Eden Prison.’ During the trial, it was proved that the warrants used to seize Dotcom’s assets were illegal. On August 28, Justice Judith Potter granted Dotcom permission to withdraw 4.8 million USD from his seized funds.
- In September 2013, he spoke of his desire to enter politics in New Zealand. He launched a political party called ‘The Internet Party’ on March 27, 2014. In May, it was revealed that the ‘Internet Party’ would form an alliance with the ‘Mana Party’ to contest in the general election. Because of Dotcom’s citizenship status, he was not eligible to contest the polls. Hence, politician and trade unionist Laila Jane Harré was chosen as the party’s leader. But the joint party failed to secure seats in the general elections.
- Eventually, ‘Mana Party’ ended its association with the ‘Internet Party.’ After remaining leaderless until February 2017, the party appointed Suzie Dawson as its new leader. Under its new leader, the party contested in the 2017 general election but failed to win any seats in the ‘House of Representatives.’
- Meanwhile, the US government had requested Dotcom’s extradition, for which the hearing started on September 21, 2015. On December 23, 2015, District Court Judge Nevin Dawson declared that Dotcom was eligible for extradition. Subsequently, Dotcom’s lawyer lodged an appeal in the High Court in an attempt to challenge the decision.
- In February 2017, High Court upheld the district court’s decision. However, Justice Murray Gilbert said that New Zealand doesn’t approve extradition if the defendant is charged with copyright infringement. Since Dotcom was originally charged with copyright offenses, his legal team challenged the decision before the New Zealand Court of Appeal.
- On July 5, 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld the previously made decisions and announced that Dotcom could be extradited to stand trial in the United States. Subsequently, Dotcom’s lawyer announced that he would lodge an appeal in the Supreme Court.
- After the September 11 terrorist attack in the US, Dotcom founded a group called ‘Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terrorism.’ He claimed that he had hacked Osama Bin Laden’s Sudanese bank accounts and offered a $10 million reward for information pertaining to Osama’s location.
- In 2011, he started recording his debut album ‘Good Times’ at ‘Roundhead Studios’ in Auckland. He also claimed that American hip hop producer Swizz Beatz appreciated his work after listening to the album. The album was released on January 20, 2014, by his independent record label ‘Kimpire Music.’ The album entered ‘New Zealand Albums Chart’ on January 27 and peaked at number eight.
- Dotcom has appeared in TV series documentaries and short videos, such as ‘60 Minutes,’ ‘Click,’ ‘Party Electricity,’ and ‘Kim Dotcom on the Ring.’ He appeared in a 1-hour-47-minute documentary titled ‘Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web.’ Directed by Annie Goldson, the documentary had its Canadian premiere at ‘Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.’
- Kim Dotcom was born Kim Schmitz on January 21, 1974, in Kiel, West Germany. To honor the technology that made him a millionaire, he changed his last name to Dotcom. He is known for his luxurious lifestyle and penchant for expensive cars and boats. According to the US government, he owned 18 luxury cars, three of which has vanity license plates that read ‘MAFIA,’ ‘HACKER,’ and ‘STONED.’
- He met Mona Verga in 2007 and started a relationship with her. On September 7, 2007, the couple was blessed with their first child Kaylo. On January 22, 2009, Verga and Dotcom had their second child Kimmo. The couple got married on July 10, 2009, and Verga gave birth to her third child Kobi in 2010. On March 21, 2012, Verga gave birth to her twins, Kylee and Keera.
- On May 17, 2014, Dotcom announced his decision to file for divorce. In November 2017, he announced that he would be marrying Elizabeth Donnelly. Dotcom and Donnelly tied the knot in 2018.
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