Wrong Paperwork Used to Seize MegaUpload Property, Judge Says

PC World on March 18, 2012 released the following:

“By Jeremy Kirk, IDG-News-Service:Sydney-Bureau

An order granted to law enforcement allowing them to seize luxury cars and other personal effects from the estate of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom is invalid, a judge in New Zealand ruled on Friday.

A police commissioner applied for the wrong type of seizure order, requested by the U.S., which now is “null and void and has no legal effect,” Judge Judith Potter ruled.

The ruling means Dotcom has a chance to recover some of the items, which reportedly included a Rolls Royce and a pink Cadillac, seized during his January 20 arrest at his mansion outside Auckland. It was unclear on Monday the next step Dotcom would have to take to get his property returned, and his attorneys could not immediately be reached.

Dotcom, 38, faces extradition to the U.S. on various copyright infringement and money laundering charges relating to his website MegaUpload, a file-sharing and storage website, which was shutdown in January.

New Zealand police applied for a second order to seize more of Dotcom’s property and, after realizing the mistake, tried to include the property improperly seized under the first order, Potter wrote.

Dotcom’s attorneys argued that some or all of their client’s property should be released. But representatives acting for the U.S. said the subsequent seizure order, dated February 1, is sufficient for holding Dotcom’s property.

Extradition proceedings for Dotcom, who is free on bail but subject to electronic monitoring, are expected to begin in August.

The U.S. Department of Justice alleges MegaUpload collected US$175 million in criminal proceeds, rewarding users for uploading and sharing content without the permission of copyright holders.

Also charged are MegaUpload defendants Finn Batato, Julius Bencko, Sven Echternach, Mathias Ortmann, Andrus Nomm and Bram Van Der Kolk.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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