Kim and Mona Dotcom have applied for $20,300 a month to pay their maids, cooks, nannies and butlers while they await the tycoon's extradition hearing.
Lawyers for the multimillionaires appeared at the High Court in Auckland today to vary the orders relating to how much of their seized funds they are allowed to access.
Kim Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing site Megaupload, was arrested in January in a dramatic police raid and had his bank accounts and assets seized.
He is awaiting a hearing on extradition to the United States which the court heard today was scheduled for March, but may be put off to July.
Dotcom has already been granted access to funds and other assets such as cars, in order to cover his huge legal fees in the copyright case brought against him by the US Government.
The Crown consented to release $20,000 per month for living costs and the Dotcoms then won access to a bank account with $300,000 in it from which they paid $40,000 per month to security and domestic staff in
their massive Coatsville mansion.
That account has now run out and the Dotcoms are applying for more restrained funds to pay their staff.
Mona Dotcom's lawyer Aaron Lloyd said a new arrangement had been reached where security costs would now be deferred until after Dotcom was back making money.
He asked for an order providing $20,000 per month - all that was needed now that only domestic staff had to be paid - on top of the $20,000 in living costs.
Lloyd said the money was there to afford the order - there was an account with over $1 million and in the last 48 hours $363,000 had been realised from the sale of several luxury cars.
Counsel for the Commissioner of Police, Anne Toohey, said it was "not right" that the Dotcoms had received $540,000 to live on - $60,000 per month for the last nine months.
She said there had been no accounting of how the already-released monies had actually been spent and it was worrying that Dotcom had recently made announcements that he was setting up a new business and
that he was going to buy the mansion.
Money should not be released to fund "an incredibly extravagant lifestyle".
Domestic staff costs should come from the already-generous $20,000 they received for living expenses, she said.
Toohey said the Dotcoms also owned an attached $5m property and they could rent that out and use that revenue for their expenses.
Justice Judith Potter ordered reports on the availability of the second property and a full account of how the money already released had been spent.
She also wanted to know how "all of a sudden" the security costs deferment plan had become available.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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