Who Is Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom?
His numberplate reads GOD, he generously sponsored Auckland's annual New Year's Eve fireworks, rents one of New Zealand's most exclusive mansions and smashes console gaming records. Yet now he's languishing in a New Zealand jail after being refused bail on online piracy charges.
Kim Dotcom, founder of file-sharing website Megaupload - equal parts businessman, ostentatious philanthropist and convicted hacker - is now making headlines for being the big fish in one of the FBI's largest ever online piracy stings.
Dotcom could be well described as a man of appetites. He lives it large, and celebrates large.
Described by Wikipedia as Finnish-German, and born on 21 January 1974 as Kim Schmitz, the generously proportioned entrepreneur seems to have bought his way in to New Zealand, where he lives in "Dotcom Mansion".
The New Zealand Herald writes that Dotcom entered New Zealand under the "high-investment category" after investing $10 million in government bonds and making a large donation to the Christchurch earthquake fund.
But Dotcom's road from Hong Kong to New Zealand was not the smoothest ride. Before arriving in New Zealand, Dotcom was convicted in Germany for "hacking" under juvenile law and insider trading.
The New Zealand government noticed, so the prior convictions stopped him buying property, and he let it be known how irritated he was by withholding promised funds for a fireworks display.
Dotcom donated US $500,00 worth of New Year's Eve fireworks to Auckland in 2010, as a gift to the city in celebration of Immigration New Zealand granting residency to the Dotcom family, according to a post on YouTube under the username "Mr Kim Dotcom".
But when his previous convictions were picked up on by the New Zealand government, and he was stopped from buying Dotcom Mansion, he back-peddled on promises to deliver the fireworks in coming years. See the comments on the above YouTube video for a sense of his bitterness.
The man who ran one of the world's largest file-sharing website had time spare for gaming.
Dotcom was the number one Modern Warfare 3 gamer. Yes, he placed number one for kills and number one in free-for-all on the MW3 leaderboards using the handle Megaracer by 31 December 2011.
In true Dotcom style, the event was not marked quietly. There's with glittering tickertape, cries of "congratulations" from those around him and a massive Modern Warfare camouflage cake on hand in the shape of a number one. And of course we can see it on YouTube.
Dotcom is also a keen driver, with luxury cars - one bearing the numberplate GOD - being among the assets taken from his property by New Zealand police.
In the video below, he can be seen in videos below driving in the Gumball 3000 and through the streets of Belgium.
On Belgian news he's described as what sounds like "eccentric millionaire" at the 1:35 minute mark, which seems to means the same in any language.
According to Wikipedia, Dotcom made most of his money in the Dotcom boom by selling off his company, DataProtect to TÜV Rheinland in 2000. He then used that money to create a series of businesses eventuating in file-sharing site Megaupload.
Follow the Megaupload case on Huffington Post.