Studios seek proof of Dotcom extravagance
Movie and music studios suing Kim Dotcom are seeking full disclosure of his assets, citing extravagant holidays, parties and his offer of a $5 million bounty to show he is still living extravagantly.
In April six Hollywood film studios filed a civil case against Dotcom in the United States, claiming he "facilitated, encouraged, and profited" from illegal file-sharing on the Megaupload site.
The Motion Picture Association of America filed the suit on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Universal City Studios Productions, Columbia Pictures Industries, and Warner Bros Entertainment in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Music studios Warner Music Group, UMG Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment and Capital Records have since joined the fray.
The studios are seeking to have Dotcom's assets frozen in full with the exception of living expenses while they work through their case against him.
But Dotcom had offered up a $5 million whistleblower bounty to anyone who could help him with his case, claimed to have funded the Internet Party to the tune of $3 million and taken a lavish holiday to Queenstown by helicopter from the Coatesville mansion.
"He did a lot of nice things down there," studios lawyer Matt Sumpter told a hearing at the High Court in Auckland today.
Sumpter also pointed to lavish parties hosted at Dotcom's mansion and his funding of the get out and vote campaign.
He said obviously Kim Dotcom had access to funds he had not disclosed to the courts.
The studios said they were not seeking to restrain Dotcom's unrestrained assets immediately but wanted urgent full disclosure on how much he was worth and how much in unrestrained assets he had hidden away.
The US Government is already seeking to extradite Dotcom to face charges relating to copyright, racketeering and money-laundering allegedly carried out by Megaupload.
Dotcom's lawyer Tracey Walker said the studios had only filed copyright claims in April this year, two years after MegaUpload was shut down so they could only claim a small percentage of Dotcom's assets. "This is a mere fishing exercise."
The hearing continues today and Justice Patricia Courtney's decision is expected to be reserved.