Dotcom forced to reveal total fortune

Kim Dotcom must reveal his entire fortune to a collection of Hollywood studios,High Court judge rules.
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Kim Dotcom must reveal his entire fortune to a collection of Hollywood studios,High Court judge rules.

 Kim Dotcom has been ordered to reveal his entire fortune to a collection of Hollywood music and film studios he is battling in court.

In a judgment released today, Justice Patricia Courtney ruled that Dotcom had to make full disclosure of his assets, including those that were not subject to current freezing orders.

Millions of dollars of the internet entrepreneur's funds and assets, including cars, jewellery and property, have been frozen for more than two years under restraining orders accepted for registration in New Zealand.

A High Court judge ruled that the assets be released back to Dotcom, but the police are appealing against that decision, and the studios had launched their own battle to keep the known assets frozen.

However, the movie studios believed Dotcom had access to assets that were outside the scope of the restraining orders and was disposing of them.

The studios said that even if they were successful in their copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Dotcom in April, any judgment may go "unsatisfied" if he was disposing of his assets.

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Universal City Studios Productions, Columbia Pictures Industries and Warner Bros Entertainment in April filed the suit against Dotcom in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Warner Music Group, UMG Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment and Capital Records later joined the fray.

The studios said Dotcom had "facilitated, encouraged and profited" from illegal file-sharing on the Megaupload site worth more than US$100 million (NZ$117.5m).

Dotcom opposed the studios' application to reveal his assets.

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The Megaupload founder argued that a judgment on the studios' US case against him would not be enforceable in New Zealand and there was no danger he would not be able to pay the studios if a ruling went their way.

Dotcom's estranged wife, Mona Dotcom, was an interested party and supported her husband's opposition to the application by the studios.

Justice Courtney said she accepted the studios' argument that Dotcom had access to assets outside the $11.8m subject to freezing orders.

Last month, he offered a $5m bounty to a whistleblower with information on any "unlawful or corrupt conduct" by entities associated with the US government or the Hollywood movie industry.

 - Stuff

Related Links

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